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CHAPTER TWELVE - Cellar of the Night
After finalising my order with Jean and paying for everything with my overworked credit card, I remained at the factory of ‘Meubles d’Erotique’ for about one more hour. This act was deliberate on my part. It was my intention to stick around until my order had been fully processed. I needed to be certain that there were no last minute snags.
To begin with I witnessed my order being packed. Everything, in flat-pack form, went into three very distinctive coffin-shaped crates. The restraining chair in one, the pillory in another, and the X-frame and breast-clamps in the third. After that I moved along to the reception area where I waited.
Perhaps too, and before I go on any further, a final word on Michelle is worthy of a mention here. If you are still wondering what happened to my sweet little French helper, well I can tell you she never re-appeared during that hour, and to this day I can’t tell you exactly when she got released. I can only imagine it was fairly quickly and she was allowed to go home. On the other hand she could still be there, strapped to the X-frame, all alone and forgotten; but I doubt it.
Anyway, back to the story. During that hour I can report that, after seeing my order packed and taken to the despatch bay ready for collection, I was well looked after and fed biscuits and coffee by the little girl behind the reception desk.
This, I must admit, came as a welcome relief since I’d not eaten anything since breakfast that day; and that, if you recall, had been nothing more than a light snack. It was therefore my intention to find a place to eat as soon as I’d taken a quick peep at the despatch depot belonging to ‘Europa Container Transport’, the delivery Company entrusted with the safe handling of my order.
Whilst I waited, and with the triffid plant once more looming menacingly over my head, Jean returned on a couple of occasions just to keep me informed as to progress. On his second visit it was to tell me that the delivery men had arrived. From a window in the reception area I observed a large white van, with the name ‘Europa Container Transport’ on the side, being loaded.
As the van drove away, I set my plan in motion.
First of all I’d given the delivery address as Hendry’s Club in London. I considered it not worth giving my own address at Lower Clunley and I would oversee any delivery to the final resting place myself. Hendry’s it seemed was the ideal address to achieve my aim, and I was sure I could explain away the sudden arrival of a load of unexpected BDSM equipment to Fernando should the case arise.
Secondly, whilst in France, what I specifically wanted to do was to check out Europa Container Transport’s depots both here in Paris and, more importantly, the one to the north in Dunkirk. I still had one more day free and it was my intention to hire a car tomorrow and drive all the way to Dunkirk to check out this second site. I did not know what I would find, if anything at all, but I’ve always considered a little first hand knowledge to go a long way. For one thing I had a brief dockside description of a ferry terminal from a statement made by Fatima before she got herself abducted. She’d reported on seeing a group of men talking on the quay side as she spied through an air-hole in the side of the container. If I could just see some of the things she described, then I would know whether or not I was on the right lines.
The final part of my plan was more immediate and of a personal nature. I was starving and had no way of getting away from the ‘Zone Industrielle’ without ordering a taxi. I was informed that there were no eating places here, nor even a convenient Metro Station to get me back to the city centre. So you can imagine how desperate I was getting.
As the delivery van disappeared down the road I spoke to the little girl behind the reception desk. I tested out my French and remarkably got my message across. I think I actually surprised myself. I guess it’s easier when it’s something you’ve just got to do! Anyway, what I was asking for was a taxi to pick me up outside the depot of Europa Container Transport in about one hour’s time. I waited until she’d made the phone call and confirmed that a taxi would be there, then said my farewells and set off down the road.
I was informed, also in that conversation with the receptionist, that the depot was just a brisk five minute’s walk away. That proved not to be the case. (I guess something went wrong in the translation here, but I’m not going back to find out.) Anyway, at something approaching jogging pace, the journey took me fifteen minutes. I therefore arrived more than a little out of breath.
For I while I stood bent double outside a perimeter fence and trying to catch my breath. I was in front of a building much to the same design as Meubles d’Erotique, but on a larger scale. There was also a much bigger parking area out front crammed full of cars and delivery vehicles of all shapes and sizes. After that a road ran down the side of the building and it looked like all the activity was going on out back somewhere.
I looked to the chain-link fencing that surrounded the depot. It was a good three metres high and impossible to scale. (I think the only thing missing were the machine gun turrets!) The entrance however was wide, with a gatehouse and barriers.
I wandered along to the gatehouse and looked around. My initial plan was to walk boldly in and ignore any shouts to stop. I would simply put my head down and just keep on walking. All I needed to do was gain a quick peep at what was going on behind the building, and after that I was quite willing for them to evict me. However, if physically stopped before I got anywhere near, then I would have my order documents ready and would act the ‘Non-understanding’ Englishman. I had the French phrase; ‘Je ne comprend pas’ ready on my tongue - it means; ‘I don’t understand’ - and from previous experience I’d found that this phrase, accompanied by several shrugs to the shoulders goes a long way over here in France.
However, and much to my surprise, there was no one there. The barriers were raised and the gatehouse was deserted. I stopped by the gatehouse and peeked inside. I could only assume that either the gatekeeper was non-existent, or he’d gone for a piss.
Then something caught my eye and I immediately seized the opportunity. Just inside the door was a row of clothes pegs, and hanging from each peg was a pair of bright green overalls. Each had the words; ‘Europa Container Transport’, embroidered on the breast pocket and also printed in big yellow letters across the back. Quickly I nipped into the gatehouse, selected a pair of overalls my size and hastily put them on. I also found a baseball cap in the same matching colour and with the same company name printed on the front. I put that on too. Finally I found a clipboard and pen and tucked it under my arm. Now I was ready.
I stepped out of the gatehouse in the guise of someone that worked at the depot. At least I hoped I did. I then strode boldly down the side of the building and round to the rear. Here I found a row of roller-shutter doors with large wagons backed up against the bays. There were also containers and lorries being loaded and unloaded out in the open spaces. Furthermore, there were a number of forklift trucks darting about everywhere.
For a while I simply stood on the corner of the building and observed, and took comfort from the fact that everyone else was dressed the same as me. Then, with clipboard and pen poised and at the ready, I began to slowly walk around the site. I tried to give the impression that I was making cryptic notes as I moved between containers and vehicles.
To be quite honest there wasn’t a great deal to see, or a fat lot to write down on my clipboard, and I easily formed a mental picture of what was going on here. Basically, small vans from this depot where sent out to roam the countryside in search of goods, then, having found what they were looking for, they would bring everything back to be transferred to much larger vehicles. These would then move on to other more distant destinations. In my case, hopefully Dunkirk and ultimately London.
After going about half a circuit I came across the delivery van that had visited Meubles d’Erotique. For a while I stood and watched my order being transferred into the back of a container. As my third and last packing crate was about to get loaded I moved in closer and ambled by. I saw the label on the crate. It read; ‘Londres - Angleterre’. (London - England.) Also, on the side of the container there was another much larger label. This one also read; ‘Londres - Angleterre’, but added were the words; ‘Dunkerque - Ouest Dock’. (Dunkirk - West Dock.) I smiled and took comfort from the fact that my order was at least heading in the right direction.
There are also a couple of points I think I should mention here since they become relevant later on.
Firstly, as I strolled around the rear of the container I could see a number of small air-holes drilled in the side. I mused over whether they were all like this, then moved across to investigate a similar container stood not very far away. This one had no air-holes, so I made a little cryptic note. On the sheet of paper attached to the clipboard I wrote down the words; ‘air holes’.
Secondly, whilst in a writing mood, I jotted down the serial number of the container that held my cargo. Every container had a serial number stencilled on the side in big white letters and I was thinking that, since my aim was to track it all the way to London, then it would be useful to have some sort of identification.
Anyway, with these things written down, I detached the top sheet from the clip board and folded it away in my pocket. I remember smiling afterwards. I’d actually found a pen that worked and decided to keep it.
I then moved on. After making one complete circuit I made my way back to the gatehouse. I’d seen all that I wanted to see and was a little clearer in my mind as to what went on here.
I tried to imagine a dozen girls being transferred from container to van and visa-versa. After some thought I deduced that, yes, it was possible, and would tie in with Fatima’s statement. But I also concluded that it would probably be something that was done at night when there were not many workers about. This was not the sort of activity that required dozens of men. Only one or two of them would be involved and probably working after hours. I could also see why safe havens were necessary. To leave girls in the container overnight, or for long periods during the day, would leave it open for them to be discovered. There were far too many people about and the risk was high. I therefore concluded that they would be whisked away pretty smartish on arrival and only returned when the container they were in was about to resume its journey.
I returned to the gatehouse. Once more the place was deserted and my plan was to return the items I’d borrowed. However, it was at this point my taxi arrived. He pulled up outside the gates and honked his horn. This was the last thing I wanted. Anything that attracted attention in my direction was a bad thing. I looked to my watch. The taxi was ten minutes early and I’d not had chance to get rid of my overalls. I looked back down the drive only to see two people leaving the building and heading for one of the cars. So, still dressed in my overalls, I got into the taxi. I wasn’t sure whether the overalls would be missed, but my plan now was to dump everything as soon as I got out the other end.
I asked the taxi driver to wait for an extra minute or two, just so that I could get one final look at the place, then opened my mouth in order to give instructions as to where I wanted to go.
It was at this point I spotted something very interesting. Driving out of the depot gate was a black Renault saloon. It was a left hand drive with French number plates. Now you might not find this very interesting; me seeing a French registered car drive out of a French depot just south of Paris. I guess this sort of thing happens every second of every day in this part of the world. But when I tell you the occupants of that car were Pierre Renard and Claudette, the girl from behind the bar at Hendry’s, then you will appreciate that I found it all very interesting indeed.
Suddenly the shape of my mouth altered from my intended initial statement of: “Take me to the centre of Paris please,” to: “Follow that car!”
After that it was just like something out of the movies. The taxi driver gave me a leering grin, revved up the engine, slammed the car into gear, and we took off in hot pursuit.
Sorry, I was getting carried away there. Perhaps ‘hot pursuit’ is a little exaggeration as to what really happened. A ‘slow dawdle’ would be nearer the truth. We did race for the first two-hundred metres or so, I’ll give the driver that, but once we’d caught up with the car in front there was nothing ‘hot’ about anything. For the next hour we slowly trudged our way through Paris traffic. I must admit I was pleased to find that we where heading north and in the general direction of Paris city centre. I don’t know what I’d have done if I found myself shooting off in the opposite direction. Anyway, I guess it must have been sometime around six o’clock when we left the Zone Industrielle, and it was something like one hour later when we reached our final destination.
Well, I say final destination, because this is where I left the taxi behind. I thanked the driver for doing a good job and gave him a sizeable tip for his troubles.
Let me now describe what happened.
The taxi followed Pierre back to an area of Paris described in most guide books as the city’s second erotic district. This generally runs along a street called; ‘Rue St-Denis’, and is sited just north of the ‘Forum des Halles’. But don’t get too carried away, compared with the Pigalle this place is something of a let down. There’s a few flashing lights to attract your attention, but that’s about all.
Up a side street off the Rue St-Denis the black Renault stopped outside a club called; ‘La Cave de la Nuit’, (or ‘Cellar of the Night’ if you want the English translation.)
Now imagine my surprise when I tell you I’d seen the name of that club someplace before, and it wasn’t hard to recall either. The name had appeared on Anthea’s letter from her accountants. This was one of those six clubs on the list. This was the very club she part owned in Paris, and, time permitting, and out of curiosity, had been my attention to visit on my last night here.
Whilst sat in the taxi just down the road from ‘La Cave de la Nuit’, and with my head spinning with fresh revelations, I simply looked on as Claudette got out of the car and entered the club whilst Pierre drove away.
Now, apart from being confused, which is nothing unusual, I also found myself facing quite a dilemma. What was I to do next? That was the burning question; and my immediate predicament being: Was I to either continue trailing Pierre in his car? Or to follow Claudette into the club?
In the end I was forced to make a rapid decision and elected to go with Claudette. I guess the thing that swung it was the fact that Pierre knew me well, whilst there was a fair chance Claudette wouldn’t recognise me. After all, the nearest we’d ever been was to face each other across a bar in a crowded and darkened room: And this when she was severely under pressure and attempting to serve a dozen or more jostling customers all at the same time. Furthermore, and I must be honest with you here, Claudette’s big bouncy tits were another huge factor in arriving at that decision.
After paying off the taxi, for a while I stood on the pavement outside the club simply pondering my next move. There was a litter bin attached to a lamppost just down the street from the club. When no one was looking, I removed my overalls and deposited them in the bin along with the baseball cap and clipboard. I kept the pen.
Anyway, by this time I’d formulated a plan. It was still daylight and about seven o’clock in the evening. I therefore felt it would be wrong to walk straight into the club at this time, even though the doors were open. So my decision was to take that meal I’d been promising myself all day and drift back to the club when it was getting dark.
So with this fresh plan in mind, I set off down the road in search of an eating place. Fortunately, in Paris you’re never very far away from a good restaurant and soon I was tucking into the biggest meal I think I’ve ever had.
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As darkness began to fall, and at sometime around nine o’clock that evening, I was back outside ‘La Cave de la Nuit’. Once more I did not venture into the club. Instead I hung around for a while waiting to see what sort of clientele frequented this joint. As I walked up and down I noted with interest that my discarded overalls remained in the litter bin, and I remember wondering just how much longer it would be before some vagrant came along to rummage through the contents.
Perhaps too I‘d best describe the scene here so that you get the full mental picture of what was happening. For starters I was down a one-way back street. (Paris is full of streets like this.) Cars were parked bumper to bumper on either side, and the gap down the middle was just big enough for one car to pass. To either side there were small narrow pavements, and everything was hemmed in by buildings four to five stories high. This was a typical narrow Parisian back street in Summer - hot and noisy, and bustling with traffic and passers by. For those driving cars, horn honking appeared to be the favourite pastime, whilst for those on foot, then noisy conversation interspersed with wolf-whistles and cat-calls seemed to be the order of the day.
As I mentioned earlier, on arrival I walked up and down the street several times, slowing down only to take a good look inside the club as I passed by. From what I could make out from peeking in through the doors, I got the impression that once inside you descended a flight stairs to rooms below ground level. I guess the name ‘La Cave’ or ‘cellar’ was also a dead give-away. After all, it seemed unlikely that you’d find a place with that name up in an attic somewhere.
There was also something else I haven’t described yet. Just down the road from the club there was vehicle entrance through an arched doorway and possibly part of the same building, but that was hard to tell. It was about the position where I’d dumped those overalls in a bin. The entrance was security proofed in as much as there were roller-shutter doors covering the front.
As I ambled by on about my fifth venture, the shutter doors started to rattle and roll themselves up. It was getting quite dark by now, and at first all I could see were headlights as a vehicle prepared to exit the archway. Finally it appeared, and for yet another time that day I received a massive shock. Crawling out of the doorway was a white van with the name ‘Europa Container Transport‘ on the side. The van stopped across the pavement. Getting out wasn’t easy, and there was only a narrow gap between two parked cars for it to squeeze through. Traffic in the road too was busy and didn’t particularly want to let the van out straightaway.
For a while I simply stood and observed, my mind still reeling I guess, and anyway I couldn’t walk by until the van was gone. Then something came to me. A flash of inspiration if you like, but probably more like a moment of madness. I knew I was taking a risk, but concluded it was just something I had to do. I was stood alongside the litter bin that contained my cast-off overalls. I grabbed everything, including the baseball cap and clipboard, and moved in alongside the van. Then, as it pulled out into the road, I nipped in behind, entered the archway and scuttled off through to the back.
Here I found myself in a cobbled courtyard with three vehicles inside. Two were cars, the other was a small red Renault van. The Company name and a flowery motif on the side suggest a florist. It read; ‘Fleuriste Jean Bart‘. Suddenly memories of Jean at Meubles D’Erotique and the triffid plant in the reception area returned to haunt me, and I wondered whether there was any connection? I concluded that I was just getting paranoid.
I couldn’t tell you how the roller-shutter doors operated, but as I ducked from sight behind the florist’s van I heard them rumbling slowly shut. I could only assume that they were operated by remote control from inside the delivery van.
Anyway, I waited for a while to check that the coast was clear, then slid into my overalls once more. I wasn’t sure that this was the right disguise for this place, and the overalls were a bit soiled and creased by now. Everything also smelt like a litter bin. But I hoped that it might give me that true working ambience and help me out a little. However, that was the least of my problems. I’d used up all of my plan and I hadn’t a clue as to where to go from here.
After getting myself dressed in the overalls, I put my head up above the van and looked around. There was one dim 40 watt bulb above a door illuminating the area. The courtyard was square in shape, had a cobbled floor and was boxed in on all sides by tall buildings. A great number of windows looked down on the area, but there were only a couple with the lights on and these had curtains drawn. The courtyard itself was small, holding possibly six cars at the most. There were a couple of doors into the buildings, one to either side of the courtyard. One of these doors had the light above. There was also a fire escape away in one of the corners.
Over in another corner of the courtyard I could see steps down to somewhere. This attracted my attention. I could hear talking coming from that general direction, so I moved to the top of the steps and gave a tentative look down. There was a door at the bottom and light coming out of a small window alongside. Under the cover of darkness I tiptoed my way down the steps.
Curtains were drawn across a small window, but there was just enough chink of light for me to see into the room. I put my face to the pane and peered in through a narrow slit between the curtains.
Inside I could see two men and one woman. They were in conversation and speaking in French. The two men were dressed in dark suits and had their backs to me. Through the small gap in the curtains and the restrictions placed upon me, I didn’t recognise either of the men. However the woman I did recognise. This was Claudette. She too was fully dressed and wearing a two piece light brown suit with short skirt and matching jacket. This I recalled, was the way she’d been dressed when she first walked into the club. Of the two men, I suspected that one might have been Pierre, but until they turned around I had no way of telling.
It was at this point I wished that I fully understood French, because it seemed that the three people in the room were having a heated discussion about something. Questions were mainly being asked of Claudette, and she didn’t seem to be responding with all the correct answers. Though she was giving as good as she got, and was matching the men for Artistic Impression if not for volume of speech.
I tried to translate what was being said but failed miserably. Their raised voices made the conversation audible through the glass, but unfortunately, when the French language is in full flow like it was on this occasion, then there was very little hope of me making any sense of what was being said. Every word spoken just seemed to blur into one big long untranslatable sentence.
I gave up trying to translate and turned my attention to other things. I found that by moving my head backwards and forwards, and with my nose pressed hard against the window, I could look about the room, and I must admit the view that greeted me came as no surprise. At least it was the sort of thing I’d come to expect at one of Anthea’s clubs. This was a mini dungeon. The room wasn’t very big and there was no obvious furniture, but all the same it came well equipped. Over on the far wall and suspended from hooks I could see a whole range of BDSM equipment. Amongst the list were leather restraints, cuffs and chains, and numerous forms of whips and scourges. Along the centre of the ceiling ran a wooden beam, and from it hung two heavy chains spaced about six feet apart. They were long enough to reach the floor and were anchored both top and bottom.
It was at this point, whilst I was stood peering in through the window and weighing up the contents of the room, that things inside appeared to get a little overheated. From a position behind Claudette, one of the men took hold of her about the neck, then grabbed an arm and twisted it up behind her back. The other man then set about removing her clothes. At least that seemed to be the plot. From the waist downwards, and with Claudette’s legs kicking and thrashing in the air, firstly her shoes, then her skirt, followed by her tights and lastly her panties, all in turn became forcibly removed.
I think I’ve already mentioned that Claudette was a blonde in one of my earlier chapters. Well, after witnessing this event, I can now confirm that blonde was her natural look. Despite the continuous thrashing of legs I was able to glimpse enough to reveal that her mound was covered by a growth of light, fluffy golden hair.
Anyway, with Claudette’s clothes from the waist downwards left scattered about the floor, the man turned his attentions to her legs. He moved in, grabbed hold of her ankles, then grappled with the legs in order to force her down to the floor. Claudette gave the appearance of objecting to this ordeal, but for my part, stood outside the room and looking in, there was no way of telling whether all was for real or not. She could have been acting and this display of violence just another sordid BDSM session with two men as clients. Again I state, I just wished that I could understand what was being said inside the room, then I might have formed a clearer picture.
However, at least one good thing was to come out of all this activity. With both men now moving about and their faces visible, I was able to establish that neither of them was Pierre. I could only assume that he had dropped Claudette off here some two hours earlier and returned to his hotel room.
This therefore raised two immediate questions: One, what was Claudette doing here on her own? And two, why the apparent violence?
What was confusing me was the fact that I’d seen Claudette walk into this place alone and of her own free will. No one had forced her to enter. That, at least, was a plus point and made me think that the performance now taking place in the room was nothing more than an act between three consenting adults. Furthermore, from the way she was dressed I could only assume that she’d not been molested during the past two hours, and if anyone really wanted to do wicked things to her, then why wait that long?
I therefore asked myself the obvious question: Could this simply be two men paying for Claudette’s services? If that was the case then there was a strong possibility that the action now unfolding before my eyes had all been agreed beforehand, and I had other incidents to back me up on this payment theory.
For starters, Claudette worked at Hendry’s, and I was aware of the type of girl that frequented such places. I know she was just a barmaid when I first set eyes upon her. But that happened to be on a Saturday when everything is very different at the club. Saturday evenings are Revue Nights at Hendry’s when all concentration is focused upon the stage. You just had to take Sadie for example and see what a difference Saturdays make from the rest of the week. For one day of the week Sadie’s a harassed and bewildered little bar girl trying her best to cope with a great mass of swarming people all jostling to get their order in first, whilst for the other six days she transforms herself into nothing short of a black widow spider, capable of devouring any male and spitting out the pieces.
So you must see my point here. There was just no way of telling whether the scene I was witnessing was for real or simply fantasy, and if anything, of the two choices put before me, then fantasy seemed to be the most likely answer.
Anyway, I looked on with interest, after all there was not a lot more I could do. The action was unfolding fast now. Claudette continued to struggle and scream, but against two strong men resistance was useless. She was now down on the floor and it was the turn of one man to hold down the legs whilst the other removed the clothes from the upper part of the body.
With Claudette now pinned to the floor, her jacket got peeled away and yanked harshly from the arms above her head. This was then followed quickly by a white blouse in similar fashion. I saw buttons pop and a sleeve tear, but it did not seem to deter the men. I could only assume that they’d both agreed to pay for any damages beforehand.
The final item to be removed was the bra. For this operation it needed one man to physically turn Claudette over on her stomach so that the other could fiddle with the clasps before forcibly removing the garment altogether. But when it was all over and she was turned once more onto her back, then I could see why the men’s efforts had proved to be such a fruitful exercise, and exactly why they would want to do it in the first place. The blonde French girl’s tits were huge and they wobbled like jellies as she maintained her persistent struggle to ward off her assailants.
Next came the restraints. Whilst one man sat astride Claudette’s waist and pinned her arms to the floor, the other moved to the back wall and collected four leather cuffs. He tossed two of them to his mate and between them they managed to attach all four cuffs to the wrists and ankles. It wasn’t an easy operation I can tell you. Even at this late stage Claudette still managed to put up quite a struggle. But like I’ve mentioned before, against two strong and determined men resistance was futile.
There is something else worthy of a mention here. For the record I’d seen these types of cuffs once before. In fact only a few hours had elapsed since gaining first hand experience of these restraints. For these broad leather wrist-bands were the same type of fleece-lined cuffs I’d used a little earlier on Michelle. Attached to each cuff was a small chain with a large clip-hook on the end. I tried to consider whether there was any connection between these two incidents, and concluded that there probably was, but only in a commercial sense. It seemed logical that BDSM equipment had to be purchased from somewhere, and a local supplier such as Meubles d’Erotique was a logical place to do one’s shopping.
Anyway, putting aside the true origin of the fleece-lined leather cuffs, I immediately formed a mental picture of what the men were trying to achieve. Claudette was to be attached to the two vertical chains strung between ceiling and floor. As one man started to lift Claudette up bodily from the floor, the other set about the task of hooking the lower half of her body to the chains. It wasn’t an easy task, Claudette continued to struggle throughout the entire ordeal, but eventually the man managed to attach the ankles to the chains, hooking the cuffs low down and close to the floor.
This left Claudette standing awkwardly with legs apart and in the main supported by the second man who, throughout the ordeal, had gripped her tightly about the ribcage. After that it became a two man exercise, both grappling with an arm, and both pulling in opposite upwards and outwards directions. This strategy appeared to work well, and together they managed to attached the wrist-cuffs to links high up on the chains.
When the deed was done, and Claudette’s battle well and truly lost, the two men showed some sort of affinity. They laughed and chuckled and gave each other a big hug, presumably for a job well done. They then moved towards the door and got to talking. This seemed an odd thing to do and I wondered what was going to happen next? As the situation stood, the two men seemed quite content to leave things just as they were, and I was beginning to think that perhaps this was the end of the session, since neither man seemed keen to continue.
I turned my attention to Claudette stood in the middle of the room. She was naked with her arms outstretched and legs open wide. If anything the fight had gone out of her, for she too seemed content simply to stand and watch the two men deep in conversation. At this point I would have liked to have seen her face, but the men had attached her to the chains so that she was facing away from the window, and all I could see was her backside and long blond hair.
After quite a lengthy debate the two men came to some sort of agreement. At least that’s the way it appeared to me. With huge grins spread across their faces they returned to confront Claudette. They then systematically set about teasing and tormenting their captive. There was no violence involved, no whips or instruments of torture used, it was simply a case of groping hands wandering all over her body; and this act alone lead me back to believing that my three consenting adults theory had been correct in the first place. For a good ten minutes, maybe more, Claudette’s tits were squeezed and distorted, her nipples sucked, and twitching fingers probed deep into her crack.
I was beginning to lose interest and thinking of walking away when a hypodermic syringe appeared in one of the men’s hands. It must have come from a pocket since I saw no obvious attempt to fetch it from anywhere.
Suddenly I was having doubts as to whether this was just play acting after all. But seeing there was not a fat lot I could do about it, I simply resolved myself to the fact and continued to observe.
As one man looked on, the other prepared the syringe by squeezing the contents upwards through the needle and doing this in front of Claudette’s nose. Once more I wished that I could see the look upon her face, but by the shaking of the head and the violent movement of the chains to either side, I formed the opinion that this was definitely something not previously agreed.
The injection, when it came, was in the thigh. Slowly the entire contents of the syringe got pumped into the leg. For a while, and even after the needle had been removed, Claudette continued to thrash between the chains. But in time it became obvious that the drug was taking effect. Her movements became less pronounced and her muscles less tense. In the end Claudette simply gave up the fight. Her head dropped and her body sagged to hang lifelessly against the chains.
It was precisely at this point in time that my attention became distracted.
Above my head the sound of a roller-shutter door opening began to echo about the courtyard. I moved away from the window and took a few steps up. Then, peering through some iron railings that ran alongside the steps, I looked towards the entrance. Headlights were shining through the archway, beaming across the courtyard and reflecting against a wall opposite. This told me that a vehicle was entering, so I ducked down and waited. The sound of the vehicle suggested a diesel engine and possibly something a little larger than a family saloon, so I popped my head up again. I guess I must have been suspecting this, since I wasn’t surprised at all to discover that the vehicle in question was a van belonging to ‘Europa Container Transport’.
At this point I’d not formulated a ‘get out of jail’ plan, since I felt relatively secure where I was. At least I was ducked down out of sight, and unless whoever was in the van was proposing to enter the building via the door at the bottom of the steps, then I could foresee no problems.
However, that situation was soon to change. I heard two car doors slam then voices getting louder. I quickly popped my head up only to see two men heading my way. They were dressed in the same green overalls as me and also wore the same distinctive baseball caps. I looked around and it became obvious that they were heading my way. The only two other doors in the courtyard were to either side and definitely not in the direction the men were heading.
I guess from this point onwards my actions became instinctive since I can’t remember thinking about what my next move should be. I simply strode down the steps, tested the door, luckily found it open, pulled down my baseball cap over my eyes, then stepped boldly into the room. There was an obvious look of surprise on the faces of the two men, but I didn’t wait to find out what they were thinking. I simply strode across the room; ignored the sight of the naked young woman slumped between two chains; opened up the far door; then moved out into the corridor beyond.
From then on I simply legged it as fast as I could. There was a rabbit warren of corridors beyond and I zigzagged about the place until I came to some stairs. I knew that to get out I needed to go up one flight, and this I did. I then repeated the zigzagging until I finally ventured upon the entrance to the club. I didn’t stop there either. I simply carried on moving at high speed until I was way up the street and far from danger.
I can’t tell you what happened behind me. Perhaps the two men from the van did precisely the same as me and walked straight through the room to the corridor beyond. On the other hand perhaps they stopped to talk, and just like the two men in the room, found themselves equally confused. Who knows? All I can tell you is, that at no point was I challenged within the club, and no one ever took up any form of pursuit. I just simply drifted my way out of there and never looked back.
Back on the Rue St-Denis I hailed a taxi and gave him the name of my hotel. It was not a long journey and soon I was back in my room and taking a shower. The smell of those overalls hung heavily on my body and I needed to get rid of it once and for all. For the record I once more deposited those overalls in a litter bin outside the hotel, and this time I had no intentions of ever retrieving them.
After taking that shower, and for about another hour afterwards, I lay naked on the bed trying to make something out of all the things I’d learned that day, but could come to no firm conclusions. I guess, if the truth be known, I was more confused now than at any point in this investigation.
Eventually I fell asleep. Which was a good thing, since tomorrow I had
plans to travel all the way to Dunkirk. There was still one more thing
I needed to check out whilst over here in France.
* * *
End of Chapter Twelve