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A Lowland Adventure - Mr. Maxwells' Vacation

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Fossy

Tribune
I sense that 'Jes' was on the verge of shouting out "Tak' me noo ye braw fella" before Alex revealed his actual 'favour' ... just imagine :)
- Spotted how you adjusted the spelling of 'favor/favour' betwixt the different protagonists ... :) :flipa:
 
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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Spotted how you adjusted the spelling of 'favor/favour' betwixt the different protagonists ...
Jessie insisted. You see how I've allowed many of her British misspellings. It hurts to publish them, but what can you do?
Speaking of hurting, more disturbing information from the dark web:

Maeve’s Story:
Maeve came from a Republican family, with all the men deeply involved in the Troubles. Her parents encouraged her to go to Queens, get the right qualifications, and escape from the Belfast Catholic ghetto. Still, the slight, sensitive girl had a sketchy boyfriend, youthful idealism, and a taste for excitement, all of which drew her into petty crime, the gang world, and eventually the Continuity IRA. One day, as she ran errands to assemble bomb material, she began to have second thoughts. As the horrifying understanding of what she was doing sank in, so did the knowledge that she was trapped in Belfast. She was in too deep. She daren't pull out. So she got a one-way ticket on the ferry to Cairnryan and hung around Stranraer, sleeping rough, trying to get casual jobs and a new identity.
A few days in The Toon (as Stranraer is called) and she disappeared. No one bothered to look for her.

Graeme had taken a liking to Maeve. The small Irish girl's spunk hid deep insecurities inside. Playing with those, while hurting and training her, gave him a particular form of enjoyment. He spent more time with her than any of the others. Driving her to screaming, sobbing panics of pain and dispair gave him a great arousal. He would miss her when she shipped off in a few days. He hoped she would get a new master who knew how to torment a sweet, insecure girl like this properly.
 
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Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
Graeme seems to be a solid candidate for winning the annual @Wragg loathometer breakage award for 2021.;)
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
[Episode 14]

Circle of Friends*


Sipping the last of her wine, Jessie couldn't help but return to the mystery.
"Whit dae we dae noo, Alec?"
"The big problem for us is the lack of missing person's reports. I am convinced that our kidnapper has snatched several women. One might not be reported, but several? Are people that isolated here?"
"Mony fowk in these airts like the sparse population and enjoy their privacy," suggested Jessie. "Bit gey few are unkent."
"Yes, I think you're right. Even if he brought them from elsewhere, there would be a trail – friends, family, or employers would report them missing."
"Aye. But, haud on a wee moment. Mony lassies come frae Eastern Europe, even developed countries like Norroway or Ireland, ettlin tae fin jobs in the holiday trade, seasonal farm work, and au pairs. Their families are far awa, and woudna expeck tae hear frae them. Mony havna ony friens here, anely employers, an they're yaised wi them vanishin tae tak better jobs aince they're here."
"I never thought of that! Are any of them young, fit? Forget I asked that; most will have to be to be migrant and looking for work."
"He cud snatch them up onywhere alang the Border an bring them here. Sergeant know-it-all Lindsay wouldna be likely to git tae hear o ony o them, e'en gin they were reported missin." Jessie said with some evident resentment of the handsome Sergeant.
"Border?"
"Aye. The land jist North an Sooth o the Scottish – English border. For a thoosan year they were snatched back an forth in the fight for Scottish independence. They had confused loyalty, an a history o rievin an law-brakkin . An alang the Solway Firth tae, smugglin wis the mainstay o the local economy not sae lang syne - an that went alang wi the slave-trade! These lanely lands are a perfeck place tae hunt for lassies withoot too mony questions bein asked."
"That is brilliant, Jes! You could make a fine detective!"

Jessie had acquired enough respect for Alex's expertise to be very flattered by the compliment. A slight blush rose on her cheeks, which temporarily distracted the American. He stared at her face for a few moments until she noticed, and he had to look away.
"But, what about the girl I saw him carrying in the Forest. It makes no sense for him to snatch her in Carlisle and then carry her through the Forest to his van."
"Aye. Yon wud be daffy."

They both sat, deep in thought. Actually, it was Alex thinking, Jessie was stared at him, trying to understand this Sassenach, who she had resented and nearly hated at first, but now recognized as sweet and smart and almost charming.
After a few moments, Alex said, "She must have been local. He stalked her in the woods, grabbed her and took her back to his lair."
Jessie nodded.
"That means he is local too. This is certainly a bigger deal than I thought. He is working for money as well as kicks."
"Hoo wud that be?"
"There are plenty of very wealthy people around the world who will pay handsomely for a sex slave. Maybe our man is a hunter for that industry - white slavery, it's often called. He captures some girls and sells them on. He might have some special requests. If he didn't find a good match in his migrant herd, he might take a chance to snatch a local girl, if he could do it safely."
"Like yon lassie he had in the Forest?"
"Yes. But we still face the difficulty of him doing it without anyone knowing. You said many around here value their privacy?"
"Aye, mysel for ane."
"But how private? Let's run down your life."
"Whit? The noo?"
"Sorry, Jes. I don't mean to pry. It's to solve the case." In the back of his mind, Alex did want to know more about this fascinating Scottish girl, and the case provided a convenient excuse to pry.
Jessie hesitated for a minute. Is this chiel keepin on wi his campaign tae git into my pants? That thought didn't seem quite so repulsive anymore. And he was right. It was for the case. Jessie had begun to get caught up in the chase.

"OK," she said demurely.
"Fine. We need to ask who would notice you disappearing. Do you have family?"
"My family is a mess. We siblins nivver speak tae ane anither - excep mebbe aince or twice a year on holidays. My ma is straunge. I might go weeks wi'oot hearin frae her, and then she canna ca' eneuch. She wudna be surpreesed gin she didna git through tae me for weeks."
And your father?"
"My da deed whan I wis a wean."
"Sorry, Jes. Boyfriends?" Alex asked the last as if he expected Jessie to slug him for the asking.
"Nane the noo. As you see, I bide alane." Did she like telling him that? That she was "available?"
"Any internet friends or lovers, any regular chat rooms?"
Jessie looked up at this and said a firm, Nae. Alex knew she was lying, but let it go.
"So, if Jessie McTaggert was abducted by aliens tomorrow, who would report it? Your clients?"
"By aliens?"
"It's an expression in the States for disappearing."
"Nae, not my clients. Maist dinna ken whaur I live, I keep onythin personal private frae them. They wud be put oot, but I doot onybody wud ring the polis."
"Your family?"
"They'd put it doon to Jessie has gane aff weird again. They dinna care for ony contack wi the hee-heids onyway."
"How about friends?"
"There's whaur it wud come oot. I've a few guid friens, maistly lassies my age and interests, wha like tae hike and bird-watch and ster-gaze. They wud notice in a few days that I wis gane. An e'en though my neeghbors arena close by, they look oot for me - we exchange frienly words."
"I see," said Alex, thinking hard. "So we need someone even more isolated than you. That has to drop our odds."
"Aye. E'en the lanely bodies amang us here hae a circle o acquaintances." As soon as she spoke the words, she regretted saying 'lanely' and ‘us’ together.
"Hmm," said Alex, with his eyes closed, pondering the possibilities. Then he gave a jerk.
"Jes, have any of your friends gone missing?"
"Are ye daffy? Did ya nae listen tae me? We keep in contack I wud ken if anybody disappeared!"
"No, sorry. I said that wrong. I didn't mean to disappear. What I meant was…how to put it? Have any gone away? You know, vacation or an unexpected trip?"
"Weel noo, that's completely different. That's na missin. Aye ... in fack. A guid frien gaed awa twa days syne, tae see her auntie, wha bides doon in Kent an isna weel. She told me she was gaein."
"Did she sound alright when she told you?"
"Aye, of course."
"How did she tell you?"
"She emailed me. Whit are you efter?"
"What's her name, and where does she live?"
"Sorcha. Sorcha McMurray. She lives weel aff the Queen's Way toward the Forest. She likes her privacy e'en mair nor I dae. An she looes the wuids e'en mair than me."
"Tell me, Jes. Does she have a distinctive appearance? Anything out of the ordinary?"
"Nae... weel, Sorcha does hae a mass o bleezin reed hair. We jokes she disna need a torch at neet in the Forest; her hair'd leet the way!"
"Oh shit! Didn’t I tell you? The girl I saw the man carrying had flaming red hair! That's the kind of special order that he might risk snatching a girl local for! Hurry, let me pay the bill. You start the car. I'll be right out. We need to go to Sorcha's place."

* Circle of Friends – a 1995 film based on the 1990 Novel by Maeve Binchy. The rather formulaic story of the novel and movie, set in Ireland is elevated by the outstanding performance of Minnie Driver in her first major role as the frumpy, frizz-haired heroine Benny.


The Problem of Pain*

Sorcha McMurray lay flat on her back on the strange, padded x-shaped table. Her wrists and ankles were in very tight but padded, leather cuffs attached with chains to the ends of the cross-pieces, holding her tightly in place, A leather belt with fleece padding against her skin was buckled snugly across her hips. A large ball gag in her mouth stretched her jaws and made her mouth dry. She still felt groggy, and her head pounded. The last she remembered was hiking in the forest on her favorite trail, one she’d walked a hundred times on Wednesday afternoons regularly as clockwork.
14-05 Forest Trail.jpg
Then there was a big man off the side of the trail, tall and plain, but, at the moment, curled up and crying in pain, holding his leg where his trousers looked torn and bloody. She stopped and knelt beside him to help. She remembered something on her face and a sickly sweet ether-like smell. Then nothing until waking up here. She realized that she was naked.

The room was mostly dark, and she could see little. Two bright lights hung from the ceiling overhead shining on her. Even nude, their heat made her sweat.
A door open behind her head. A deep, masculine voice, smooth and calm spoke.
“You are awake, Sorcha. That means we can start your training. I need to deliver you to your ’cruise’ in three days. We will have to hurry.” Sorcha tried to see the source of the voice.
“By the way,” His face loomed out of the dark, the man from the trail, smiling kindly, “How do you deal with pain?”
The girl struggled with her restraints.

“I ask, Sorcha, because you will be experiencing a lot of pain in the next few days.”
The girl’s eyes widened as the man appeared in the light. He was bare-chested, large, and looked strong. And he wore an eye mask like the Lone Ranger.
“That is not precisely correct,” he stroked the side of her face with his hand. “You will be in terrible pain for weeks and maybe even months. It will depend on how fast a learner you are.”
Sorcha shivered with fear. She would have asked what he wanted, begged for release, but the large ballgag in her mouth allowed no verbal communication.

“Normally, I would spend a week or two training you. Slowly building the pain to bring you to my will.” He slapped her hard across the face, and the girl saw stars.
“But the boat is leaving the Bight in three days. You will have to get your training while you are aboard, or when you get to your new home in the Desert.” He backhanded her on the other cheek. Sorcha was crying now in terror.
“It will be a very special home. I’ve dealt with your new owner before. Very demanding – some might say, very cruel!”
“Since I don’t have time to train you properly,” he slapped her again; her head was spinning. “I’ll just spend our time together having fun.” He held up the copper clamps of a battery charger for her to see. Touching them together, bright electric sparks showered down. “Now, where should I start?”

*The Problem of Pain
– C. S. Lewis (1940)
 
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old slave

FELIS RESPICIENS
"How did she tell you?"
"She emailed me. Whit are you efter?"
"Note to anyone reading:

treat all emails, texts and PMs with suspicion-----the 'sender' has been kidnapped-----phone to confirm, hearing their voice."

A public service announcement from your friendly telecoms provider.
 

malins

Stumbling Seeker
"Note to anyone reading:

treat all emails, texts and PMs with suspicion-----the 'sender' has been kidnapped-----phone to confirm, hearing their voice."

A public service announcement from your friendly telecoms provider.
Well you should always agree with your friends on some seemingly innocent phrases that you can use, to signal "I have been kidnapped by a sex cult/the aliens/Dr. Evil"
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
"Note to anyone reading:

treat all emails, texts and PMs with suspicion-----the 'sender' has been kidnapped-----phone to confirm, hearing their voice."

A public service announcement from your friendly telecoms provider.

Well you should always agree with your friends on some seemingly innocent phrases that you can use, to signal "I have been kidnapped by a sex cult/the aliens/Dr. Evil"
Reminds me of the old story of a man opening a Chinese fortune cookie and reading, "Help - I've been kidnapped and I'm held in a Chinese bakery!"
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Graeme’s Girls
Only the Best for Discriminating Connoisseurs
(Photo’s and additional details available on verified request)

Dossier #1061
Name: Sorcha
Age: 27
Height: 5’ 4” (163 cm.)
Weight: 116 lbs. (53 kgs.)
Hair Color: Red - “Flaming”
Eye Color: Blue-Green
Nationality: Scottish
Language: Scottish, Scottish Standard English
Personality: Quiet and shy. Prefers nature and children to the company of most adults. Secretly submissive. Lovely Freckles
Background: Lived alone in a cottage in the deep woods. Edited children's books online.

SOLD
– Similar stock can be special ordered with advance deposit




 

Fossy

Tribune
Graeme’s Girls
Only the Best for Discriminating Connoisseurs
(Photo’s and additional details available on verified request)

Dossier #1061
Name: Sorcha
Age: 27
Height: 5’ 4” (163 cm.)
Weight: 116 lbs. (53 kgs.)
Hair Color: Red - “Flaming”
Eye Color: Blue-Green
Nationality: Scottish
Language: Scottish, Scottish Standard English
Personality: Quiet and shy. Prefers nature and children to the company of most adults. Secretly submissive. Lovely Freckles
Background: Lived alone in a cottage in the deep woods. Edited children's books online.


SOLD
– Similar stock can be special ordered with advance deposit
Let me know when the Catalogue is available for distribution :)
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Let me know when the Catalogue is available for distribution :)

Is there a discount for regular customers?
If you need to ask about a discount, you can't afford the catalog deposit, let alone purchasing merchandise!

[Episode 15]

Traveling Light*

Jessie demonstrated her ability to drive her little car hard and fast as they sped back through Kenmuir toward the Forest.
"Ye dinna think Sorcha might be in danger?" she asked pleadingly.
"I hope not, Jes. But we need to make sure. How isolated is her place?"
"Gey lanesome. Back on barely cleared forest roads. I've only been there aince, an Clio cudna haurdly win through."
"Might we consider taking my 4WD?" asked Alex carefully. He didn't want to insult her car again.
"Aiblins we cud. We can stop at your B&B on the way." Jessie conceded, though she hated to let him drive.
At Tonderghie House, they switched vehicles, and Alex drove the Range Rover following Jessie's directions. A short way up the Queen's Way and then left into the woods. Jessie had been right. The unsurfaced, potholed "road" was barely more than a trail, with just room for one vehicle to proceed. After a half-mile of almost trackless path, Alex commented, "Yes, you might say she values her privacy!"
15-02 Sorcha trail.jpg
At last, there was a tiny clearing with a little hut, smaller even than Jessie's. They got out and went to the door. Alex waved Jessie back while he examined the handle and lock.
"Do you know if she usually locks her door?"
"I dinna ken. Gin, she's awa for a bit, she probably wud."
Alex took hold of the handle and found it locked. Repeating his trick from Jessie's house, he used his Allen wrench to open it. He pushed it open gingerly and again, signaling Jessie to wait, he walked carefully inside.

Several minutes later, Alex appeared at the door.
"You can come in now and look around. Try to disturb as little as possible. Look for anything strange or different than you expect."
Jessie felt a wee bit guilty sneuking through her friend's place (even worse at having let a strange man do it). She well knew and appreciated Sorcha's desire for privacy. But Alex had convinced Jessie that her friend might be in great danger.
Jessie carefully surveyed the living/bedroom section, the small galley kitchen, and the facilities. Sorcha's computer was turned off, and she had no idea what the password was. Everything else seemed in place exactly where it should be. In the end, she turned to Alex.
"It a luiks normal and neat. I dinna see onythin oot o place. Do you?" Since Alex had never been there before, nor did he know Sorcha's ways, Jessie doubted he could have uncovered anything unusual.

"Did you look at her clothes," said Alex, gesturing to a chest and a wardrobe near the bed,"
"I dinna want to pry ower muckle. But aye, I'll tak a luik." Jessie looked in each drawer, neatly filled to the top with folded clothes, and at the small wardrobe, packed with coats and dresses.
"It luiks normal. A wee bit like mine."
"She just got called away unexpectedly on a trip of several weeks? How much clothing did she take? There seems to be none missing?"
Jessie did a double-take. He was right. It seemed like all Sorcha's clothes might still be here.
"After you hurriedly pack to go, do you neatly refold everything in your drawers?"
"Likely nae."
"Is your friend super-anal? I mean, super-neat?"
"She's clane - bit I wudna say she's obsessive aboot it."
"Does this place strike you as near perfectly neat for a cabin in the middle of the woods?"
"Aye, it does seem gey weel trigged up, bit that disna pruive…"
"Look on the floor in the corner beside the wardrobe. What do you see?"
Jessie looked where Alex indicated. There was a three-piece luggage set. She'd seen them before and thought nothing. But noo...Och, God!

"How many young women go on a four week trip with almost no clothes, leave all their almost new luggage at home, and spend hours straightening up beforehand?"
"Och, God!"

"Your friend was hiking in the woods. Our man grabbed her and carried her to his van and took her somewhere. He came here and cleaned up and sent emails to everyone on her contact list that she'd be gone for several weeks. It would be easy to look in her sent file to see her style of writing emails. He probably came back a day later and replied to any responses. I suspect he had a special order for a redheaded Scottish Lassie. You have no idea the kinks of these perverts out there. The rich ones will pay a fortune to be able to do anything they want with a girl that matches their fantasy."
It was too much for Jessie as Alex's description made her think of the horrible fate that might have befallen her friend.
"Nae! Nae!" she screamed, crying and burying her face in her hands.


*”Traveling Light” – song (2016) by Leonard Cohen (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016)

Posthumous video prepared by his son.


Truth Will Out*
Alex cursed himself for talking as if to a hardened police officer and not a reasonably innocent country lassie. He ran to her and folded her in his arms, holding her tight.
While Jessie still sobbed, it was a comforting feeling for both as the American held firmly onto the crying girl. Jessie felt safe with Alex in charge, and Alex felt gratified that he could take command.
After a minute, his instincts told him what to do.
"Enough, Jes," he said in a gentle but commanding voice. "You must stop this now. We have work to do to save your friend."
Alex was surprised that Jes responded immediately. She stopped weeping and wiped her eyes.

"Aye, Alec," she said in a submissive tone. "Ye're right." Jessie's respect for Alex and the calm, firm way he approached the horrors of her friend's disappearance grew by the minute. Alex, in turn, was impressed by her instantly following his orders. This girl had some will power, he thought admiringly.
"Let's sit down, and you tell me all you know about Sorcha."
"Shudna, we gae tae the polis? Noo we ken someone wha's been takken? Lindsay would hae tae believe us the noo." Jessie sat huddled, glancing furtively around the cabin interior.
"Maybe later, but it would do no good now. What could Sergeant Lindsay do? He might be a first-rate policeman, but he didn't strike me as a crack detective. Even if he got help, what could he do? Search the house? Search the woods? It's been two days now, and that rain last night surely wiped out any remaining traces. And I'm convinced our man is an experienced professional. He doesn't leave behind any forensic evidence."
"Whit aboot putting her on yon missin-persons leet?"
"He could do that. And if Sorcha showed up in Liverpool, the cops would tell us. But that's not going to happen. And with only one loner girl missing, they won't devote any resources to it.
"They cud ask her aunt in Kent gin she's heard frae her."
"Right. And if not, that would prove what? More than the fact she's missing? Anyway. Don’t you find the ‘aunt’ story a bit doubtful? How do they find this aunt? Did Sorcha give a name?"
"Nae."
"Ever mention her before?"
"Nae."
"Convenient that it's her aunt, not her mother so that the name can be different. So the odds of the police finding an aunt in Kent with no name or other information is zero. If she even exists."

Jessie felt like crying again. She held back her tears as she tried to follow Alex's brave lead. The empty cabin seemed to close in on her as if filled with ghosts. "We're up a close then? We hae tae gie up?" She asked, her voice, despite her best efforts, breaking.
"No. WE don't give up. WE will investigate. But in ways, the police can't and won't."
"I dinna tak it. Whit can we dae that the polis, wi a their poower, canna dae?"
"We don't have to start at the end and look for Sorcha with no trail to follow. We can go directly to search for the kidnapper. My profiling will give us a look at him and the kind of place he is hiding. With your local knowledge, we can hope to find his lair and hunt him down. Are you with me, Jes?"
"Aye, aye, sir," Jessie said. It felt good to have someone who knew what to do. "Whaur dae we stert?"
"First, we get out of here. I can see it's creeping you out. Let's go grab a coffee, and you tell me everything you know about Sorcha."
Jessie was glad of the suggestion. She was creepit oot by being in the place where her friend had lived. Her friend, who may no longer be alive. How did he know she felt that way?

On the drive back, Alex said, "Since we need to go back to the B&B anyway, why don't we get coffee there? Mrs. McTavish makes excellent coffee, and my cabin is very comfortable. We can go there and discuss the case in private."
Jessie heard this as a kind of come on to get her alone in his room. She decided she didn't dislike the idea too much. "Aye Alec, yon wud be cantie," she replied softly. She saw him smile, and that made her smile in turn.

Alex pulled the Range Rover into the turnoff at Tonderghie House. He parked and walked Jessie to his door. Opening it, he waved her in, "Make yourself at home; I'll go get Mrs. McTavish to make us some coffee."
Jessie had seen his rented cabin when she had brought him back, injured, from the Forest. But now that she had a few minutes alone, she indulged her natural curiosity. The place was a typical B&B for the area, some modern conveniences added to soften the ancient, rude bones of a rural cottage. She was impressed to see that Alex had left that morning with the place, even the bath (which she did spy on for a moment) very neat. She liked that. She had never understood why, to be masculine, a man maun be a slabber.
On his bedside table was that book she'd seen before, Criminal Minds: Sociopaths, Serial Killers, and Other Deviants. She listened and heard no sound of Alex returning. Carefully, she lifted the book and checked the table of contents. It was arranged in sections by the criminal types. She noted a unit, "Sexual Predators," and turned to it. Flipping through the pages and noting the titles, she became more and more fascinated by the thought of what these men did to women. Finally, there was a full-page illustration from what appeared to be a Medieval text, showing a woman, naked to the waist, chained to a frame, and two men wielding whips to torture her. Jessie stared at the picture, enthralled. She didn't hear the approaching footsteps. Suddenly the door opened, and Alex strode in, carrying a tray and announcing, "Mrs. McTavish's compliments – coffee and chocolates!"
Jessie gave a little cry of surprise and dropped the book loudly onto the floor. The commotion almost made Alex drop the tray.
As Alex recovered and set the tray on a side table, Jessie hurriedly bent over, grabbed the book, and replaced it on the bedside, the touch of it being like fire.

"Och! I'm sae sairy. I was anely luikin. I didna mean. .. I didna raelly…"
"That's OK, Jes. A healthy curiosity is something I admire." He saw that she was blushing, a becoming look and also revealing. He ventured, "Some parts of that material can be fascinating, I find."
"Aye. Weel aye. Very eddicational."
"Just my reaction. Here, how do you take your coffee?"

The moment passed, and they made small talk while Alex poured the coffee and offered her the tray of French chocolates. They sat in the two comfortable chairs flanking the fireplace, and Alex asked Jessie to tell him everything she knew about Sorcha.
Jessie went on at length, trying to recall everything, event he smallest detail. She was impressed that Alex listened without the need to comment or correct. He only interrupted a few times to ask a clarifying question.
Jessie did not say much about Sorcha's sex life. She knew little and felt uncomfortable speculating. She explained that to Alex, and he said she was right to do so. He did inquire concerning her internet usage in minute detail. But Jessie insisted there was naught that she knew.
At last, Jessie ran out of things to say. Alex was sitting with his finger tented, and his eyes closed, pondering what had been said. Jessie contentedly devoured her third chocolate. They were heavenly! She had to ask Morag where she got them.

Then Alex opened his eyes and looked intently at Jessie. In a soft but commanding voice that reminded Jessie of the long-ago memories of her father, he said:
"You lied to me about visiting chat rooms. And you lied about Sorcha's internet usage. Both are of the greatest importance. You must tell me the truth now."

*Truth will out – Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
 

Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
Flipping through the pages and noting the titles, she became more and more fascinated by the thought of what these men did to women. Finally, there was a full-page illustration from what appeared to be a Medieval text, showing a woman, naked to the waist, chained to a frame, and two men wielding whips to torture her. Jessie stared at the picture, enthralled.

Hmmmmmmmm ... :rolleyes:
 

Fossy

Tribune
If you need to ask about a discount, you can't afford the catalog deposit, let alone purchasing merchandise!

[Episode 15]

Traveling Light*

Jessie demonstrated her ability to drive her little car hard and fast as they sped back through Kenmuir toward the Forest.
"Ye dinna think Sorcha might be in danger?" she asked pleadingly.
"I hope not, Jes. But we need to make sure. How isolated is her place?"
"Gey lanesome. Back on barely cleared forest roads. I've only been there aince, an Clio cudna haurdly win through."
"Might we consider taking my 4WD?" asked Alex carefully. He didn't want to insult her car again.
"Aiblins we cud. We can stop at your B&B on the way." Jessie conceded, though she hated to let him drive.
At Tonderghie House, they switched vehicles, and Alex drove the Range Rover following Jessie's directions. A short way up the Queen's Way and then left into the woods. Jessie had been right. The unsurfaced, potholed "road" was barely more than a trail, with just room for one vehicle to proceed. After a half-mile of almost trackless path, Alex commented, "Yes, you might say she values her privacy!"
View attachment 949678
At last, there was a tiny clearing with a little hut, smaller even than Jessie's. They got out and went to the door. Alex waved Jessie back while he examined the handle and lock.
"Do you know if she usually locks her door?"
"I dinna ken. Gin, she's awa for a bit, she probably wud."
Alex took hold of the handle and found it locked. Repeating his trick from Jessie's house, he used his Allen wrench to open it. He pushed it open gingerly and again, signaling Jessie to wait, he walked carefully inside.

Several minutes later, Alex appeared at the door.
"You can come in now and look around. Try to disturb as little as possible. Look for anything strange or different than you expect."
Jessie felt a wee bit guilty sneuking through her friend's place (even worse at having let a strange man do it). She well knew and appreciated Sorcha's desire for privacy. But Alex had convinced Jessie that her friend might be in great danger.
Jessie carefully surveyed the living/bedroom section, the small galley kitchen, and the facilities. Sorcha's computer was turned off, and she had no idea what the password was. Everything else seemed in place exactly where it should be. In the end, she turned to Alex.
"It a luiks normal and neat. I dinna see onythin oot o place. Do you?" Since Alex had never been there before, nor did he know Sorcha's ways, Jessie doubted he could have uncovered anything unusual.

"Did you look at her clothes," said Alex, gesturing to a chest and a wardrobe near the bed,"
"I dinna want to pry ower muckle. But aye, I'll tak a luik." Jessie looked in each drawer, neatly filled to the top with folded clothes, and at the small wardrobe, packed with coats and dresses.
"It luiks normal. A wee bit like mine."
"She just got called away unexpectedly on a trip of several weeks? How much clothing did she take? There seems to be none missing?"
Jessie did a double-take. He was right. It seemed like all Sorcha's clothes might still be here.
"After you hurriedly pack to go, do you neatly refold everything in your drawers?"
"Likely nae."
"Is your friend super-anal? I mean, super-neat?"
"She's clane - bit I wudna say she's obsessive aboot it."
"Does this place strike you as near perfectly neat for a cabin in the middle of the woods?"
"Aye, it does seem gey weel trigged up, bit that disna pruive…"
"Look on the floor in the corner beside the wardrobe. What do you see?"
Jessie looked where Alex indicated. There was a three-piece luggage set. She'd seen them before and thought nothing. But noo...Och, God!

"How many young women go on a four week trip with almost no clothes, leave all their almost new luggage at home, and spend hours straightening up beforehand?"
"Och, God!"

"Your friend was hiking in the woods. Our man grabbed her and carried her to his van and took her somewhere. He came here and cleaned up and sent emails to everyone on her contact list that she'd be gone for several weeks. It would be easy to look in her sent file to see her style of writing emails. He probably came back a day later and replied to any responses. I suspect he had a special order for a redheaded Scottish Lassie. You have no idea the kinks of these perverts out there. The rich ones will pay a fortune to be able to do anything they want with a girl that matches their fantasy."
It was too much for Jessie as Alex's description made her think of the horrible fate that might have befallen her friend.
"Nae! Nae!" she screamed, crying and burying her face in her hands.


*”Traveling Light” – song (2016) by Leonard Cohen (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016)


Posthumous video prepared by his son.


Truth Will Out*
Alex cursed himself for talking as if to a hardened police officer and not a reasonably innocent country lassie. He ran to her and folded her in his arms, holding her tight.
While Jessie still sobbed, it was a comforting feeling for both as the American held firmly onto the crying girl. Jessie felt safe with Alex in charge, and Alex felt gratified that he could take command.
After a minute, his instincts told him what to do.
"Enough, Jes," he said in a gentle but commanding voice. "You must stop this now. We have work to do to save your friend."
Alex was surprised that Jes responded immediately. She stopped weeping and wiped her eyes.

"Aye, Alec," she said in a submissive tone. "Ye're right." Jessie's respect for Alex and the calm, firm way he approached the horrors of her friend's disappearance grew by the minute. Alex, in turn, was impressed by her instantly following his orders. This girl had some will power, he thought admiringly.
"Let's sit down, and you tell me all you know about Sorcha."
"Shudna, we gae tae the polis? Noo we ken someone wha's been takken? Lindsay would hae tae believe us the noo." Jessie sat huddled, glancing furtively around the cabin interior.
"Maybe later, but it would do no good now. What could Sergeant Lindsay do? He might be a first-rate policeman, but he didn't strike me as a crack detective. Even if he got help, what could he do? Search the house? Search the woods? It's been two days now, and that rain last night surely wiped out any remaining traces. And I'm convinced our man is an experienced professional. He doesn't leave behind any forensic evidence."
"Whit aboot putting her on yon missin-persons leet?"
"He could do that. And if Sorcha showed up in Liverpool, the cops would tell us. But that's not going to happen. And with only one loner girl missing, they won't devote any resources to it.
"They cud ask her aunt in Kent gin she's heard frae her."
"Right. And if not, that would prove what? More than the fact she's missing? Anyway. Don’t you find the ‘aunt’ story a bit doubtful? How do they find this aunt? Did Sorcha give a name?"
"Nae."
"Ever mention her before?"
"Nae."
"Convenient that it's her aunt, not her mother so that the name can be different. So the odds of the police finding an aunt in Kent with no name or other information is zero. If she even exists."

Jessie felt like crying again. She held back her tears as she tried to follow Alex's brave lead. The empty cabin seemed to close in on her as if filled with ghosts. "We're up a close then? We hae tae gie up?" She asked, her voice, despite her best efforts, breaking.
"No. WE don't give up. WE will investigate. But in ways, the police can't and won't."
"I dinna tak it. Whit can we dae that the polis, wi a their poower, canna dae?"
"We don't have to start at the end and look for Sorcha with no trail to follow. We can go directly to search for the kidnapper. My profiling will give us a look at him and the kind of place he is hiding. With your local knowledge, we can hope to find his lair and hunt him down. Are you with me, Jes?"
"Aye, aye, sir," Jessie said. It felt good to have someone who knew what to do. "Whaur dae we stert?"
"First, we get out of here. I can see it's creeping you out. Let's go grab a coffee, and you tell me everything you know about Sorcha."
Jessie was glad of the suggestion. She was creepit oot by being in the place where her friend had lived. Her friend, who may no longer be alive. How did he know she felt that way?

On the drive back, Alex said, "Since we need to go back to the B&B anyway, why don't we get coffee there? Mrs. McTavish makes excellent coffee, and my cabin is very comfortable. We can go there and discuss the case in private."
Jessie heard this as a kind of come on to get her alone in his room. She decided she didn't dislike the idea too much. "Aye Alec, yon wud be cantie," she replied softly. She saw him smile, and that made her smile in turn.

Alex pulled the Range Rover into the turnoff at Tonderghie House. He parked and walked Jessie to his door. Opening it, he waved her in, "Make yourself at home; I'll go get Mrs. McTavish to make us some coffee."
Jessie had seen his rented cabin when she had brought him back, injured, from the Forest. But now that she had a few minutes alone, she indulged her natural curiosity. The place was a typical B&B for the area, some modern conveniences added to soften the ancient, rude bones of a rural cottage. She was impressed to see that Alex had left that morning with the place, even the bath (which she did spy on for a moment) very neat. She liked that. She had never understood why, to be masculine, a man maun be a slabber.
On his bedside table was that book she'd seen before, Criminal Minds: Sociopaths, Serial Killers, and Other Deviants. She listened and heard no sound of Alex returning. Carefully, she lifted the book and checked the table of contents. It was arranged in sections by the criminal types. She noted a unit, "Sexual Predators," and turned to it. Flipping through the pages and noting the titles, she became more and more fascinated by the thought of what these men did to women. Finally, there was a full-page illustration from what appeared to be a Medieval text, showing a woman, naked to the waist, chained to a frame, and two men wielding whips to torture her. Jessie stared at the picture, enthralled. She didn't hear the approaching footsteps. Suddenly the door opened, and Alex strode in, carrying a tray and announcing, "Mrs. McTavish's compliments – coffee and chocolates!"
Jessie gave a little cry of surprise and dropped the book loudly onto the floor. The commotion almost made Alex drop the tray.
As Alex recovered and set the tray on a side table, Jessie hurriedly bent over, grabbed the book, and replaced it on the bedside, the touch of it being like fire.

"Och! I'm sae sairy. I was anely luikin. I didna mean. .. I didna raelly…"
"That's OK, Jes. A healthy curiosity is something I admire." He saw that she was blushing, a becoming look and also revealing. He ventured, "Some parts of that material can be fascinating, I find."
"Aye. Weel aye. Very eddicational."
"Just my reaction. Here, how do you take your coffee?"

The moment passed, and they made small talk while Alex poured the coffee and offered her the tray of French chocolates. They sat in the two comfortable chairs flanking the fireplace, and Alex asked Jessie to tell him everything she knew about Sorcha.
Jessie went on at length, trying to recall everything, event he smallest detail. She was impressed that Alex listened without the need to comment or correct. He only interrupted a few times to ask a clarifying question.
Jessie did not say much about Sorcha's sex life. She knew little and felt uncomfortable speculating. She explained that to Alex, and he said she was right to do so. He did inquire concerning her internet usage in minute detail. But Jessie insisted there was naught that she knew.
At last, Jessie ran out of things to say. Alex was sitting with his finger tented, and his eyes closed, pondering what had been said. Jessie contentedly devoured her third chocolate. They were heavenly! She had to ask Morag where she got them.

Then Alex opened his eyes and looked intently at Jessie. In a soft but commanding voice that reminded Jessie of the long-ago memories of her father, he said:
"You lied to me about visiting chat rooms. And you lied about Sorcha's internet usage. Both are of the greatest importance. You must tell me the truth now."

*Truth will out – Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
This is hotting up ... Alex being professionally masterful clearly reminded Jess of times past ...
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Meanwhile

[Episode 15a]

Facilis descensus Averno*

“Well, my pretty Scottish lassie, while you surfed your BDSM sites, did you ever imagine you would experience it in real life," taunted Graeme.
Sorcha was slumped, bound to the cross, drenched in sweat. The last two hours had pushed her endurance to and beyond her limits. She had suffered constant pain and degradation, accompanied by an ongoing stream of verbal abuse from this evil man. As he used pain and humiliation to break her spirit, he began to plant seeds of obedience and submission to prepare her as a slave.

“What say we try the prod up your ass again, Sorcha? I know your new owner likes to torment his girls anally. You will have to learn to love it if you want to keep your sanity."
As he pried her cheeks apart and brought the cattle prod (standard Kawe Electric, 5000-volt pulse through spring-loaded prongs; audible buzzer ensures the coaxer has sufficient battery power - very popular throughout Ireland and the UK), the exhausted girl looked to him, red hair plastered to her wet face and pleaded softly for mercy. Graeme ignored her pleas and gently lodged four inches of the prod up her ass.

"Here we go, girl. Dance and toss that beautiful hair for me," he said as he pressed the control, heard with satisfaction the buzzer indicating full charge, and watched her body arch in air as her sore throat produced another high, long scream. He enjoyed the sight of her belly and breasts, crisscrossed with many angry whip-welts, surge forward and bounce as if begging for more abuse. Not to worry, he thought. I’ll be using that whip again in a few moments.


*”The Descent into Hell is easy” - Vergil, Aeneid, 6:126.
 
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Fossy

Tribune
Meanwhile

[Episode 15a]

Facilis descensus Averno*

“Well, my pretty Scottish lassie, while you surfed your BDSM sites, did you ever imagine you would experience it in real life," taunted Graeme.
Sorcha was slumped, bound to the cross, drenched in sweat. The last two hours had pushed her endurance to and beyond her limits. She had suffered constant pain and degradation, accompanied by an ongoing stream of verbal abuse from this evil man. As he used pain and humiliation to break her spirit, he began to plant seeds of obedience and submission to prepare her as a slave.

“What say we try the prod up your ass again, Sorcha? I know your new owner likes to torment his girls anally. You will have to learn to love it if you want to keep your sanity."
As he pried her cheeks apart and brought the cattle prod (standard Kawe Electric, 5000-volt pulse through spring-loaded prongs; audible buzzer ensures the coaxer has sufficient battery power - very popular throughout Ireland and the UK), the exhausted girl looked to him, red hair plastered to her wet face and pleaded softly for mercy. Graeme ignored her pleas and gently lodged four inches of the prod up her ass.

"Here we go, girl. Dance and toss that beautiful hair for me," he said as he pressed the control, heard with satisfaction the buzzer indicating full charge, and watched her body arch in air as her sore throat produced another high, long scream. He enjoyed the sight of her belly and breasts, crisscrossed with many angry whip-welts, surge forward and bounce as if begging for more abuse. Not to worry, he thought. I’ll be using that whip again in a few moments.


*”The Descent into Hell is easy” - Vergil, Aeneid, 6:126.
Imagining the red haired beauty naked and secured in this manner is a very worthwhile pastime PrPr!
 
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