Chapter 6: A Cry for Help!

London, England - October 1906.

The autumn weather had set in, but Clara didn’t mind the wind and the rain as long as they were at night, somehow their sound made it easier for her to fall asleep. Then suddenly she found herself awake: Emma was gently shaking her.

“Is it morning already?” Clara asked half asleep.

“You most wake up Clara. Something has happened,” Emma said calmly.

“What? What has happened, Emma?” Clara said and sat up in bed.

Across from her bed stood two men; both masked and carrying revolvers.

“We happened maid. Now get up!” One of the men said.

Clara got out of the bed, and they were hurried down the stairs to the living room, the rest of the staff and Her Ladyship was there, along with four other members of the gang.

“Where are the jewels and money?” Said one of the men, aiming his gun at Her Ladyship.

“In the safe… behind the painting.” She answered, she knew that a life was more important then material goods.

One of the other men checked it out, there was a safe there, but he needed the combination to get into it. Her ladyship provided the combination, and the men looked very happy to see all the money and jewels, which they stuffed into a small bag.

“We can’t let these women be free while we are leaving, we need to tie them up!” Said the leader of the pack.

“You won’t believe what I found in the next room. Tons of ropes, it's like someone is collecting them.” Another said.

“Then get some and let’s tie them up!” Said the leader.

His accomplice went into the play room and returned with an armful of ropes, throwing them onto the floor in front of his boss. First they bound Her Ladyship to a chair; her wrists behind its back, with lots of loops around her body to keep her from getting up and her ankles tied to its legs. Emma and Esmeralda were trussed up back to back with their arms pulled back round each other's body and their hands tied in front of each other's waist. More ropes were looped around their bodies and legs, finally they were laid down on the floor. Erica soon lay hog tied beside them. Elena (the cooks’ assistant) and Erin (the downstairs maid) were both tied to the posts in the next room; they couldn’t move an inch and almost looked like mummies. Clara found herself tied to the end post of the staircase. Her hands were bound to the railings of the stairs, her body wrapped around the wooden end piece and her ankles bound together and then tied off to the railings. The men finished up by gagged them all tightly with large knotted pieces of cloth, long enough to wrap around their faces twice, first with the knot in their mouths, then again to hold it in place, with the ends securely knotted behind their heads.

Taking the bag full of loot the men left the house via the servant’s entrance. The house became extremely quiet, only the ticking of the clock in the hallway reminding the prisoners of time's slow passage. To begin with they struggled furiously to get loose from their restraints, but as the hours ticked by their attempts grew weaker and weaker.

The ringing of the doorbell woke Clara up. She tried to move, and then remembered she was all bound and gagged. She tried to yell out, but the cloth in her mouth and knot over it prevented any sound whatsoever from reaching the door. She looked into the living room where she could see Emma and Esmeralda struggling on the floor, but they weren't going to get loose; at least not quickly. There was a loud knock on the door, and then it all stopped. She saw the blurred image of a figure through the door's window disappear. She sighed. What would happen to them; would they die like this?

Elena and Erin were very tired, their legs hurt from standing all the time. So was Clara; her knees were hurting, she could feel them starting to give away, only the ropes securing her to the post prevented her from falling to the floor. Her mouth was a dry as a desert. She hoped they would be found soon, apart from the pain she needed to relieve herself. She looked at the clock, it was ten in the morning. Soon the sun would hit the windows in the door, and warm up the hallway, but then she knew that the sun hit the staircase, she would have to endure two hours of sunshine. She was sure she would be cooked before someone found them and could let them loose. Struggling hard to get herself free made her wince as the ropes dug into her soft skin. She knew that she would have burn marks and the ropes weren't getting any looser. She sighed; feeling helpless and useless.

The doorbell rang again, then there came a loud knocking. Clara, dripping with sweat, tried to get loose again; it was no use. The person at the door went away.


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