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BOOK: John Norman
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Brenda Hamilton stiffened. This would have been established in London, in William’s gynecological examination. Tears came to Brenda Hamilton’s eyes. The results had obviously been made available to the men.

Doubtless they were familiar with all of her records, her measurements.

“Yes,” said Hamilton. “I’m a virgin.”

“And twenty-four years old,” laughed Gunther.

“Yes!” wept Hamilton.

“Virgin,” laughed Gunther.

“I give you my virginity, Gunther,” she wept.

His hands were hard on her arms. She cried out with pain, he held her so tightly.

“You give nothing,” said Gunther. “If I want it, I will take it.”

“Yes, Gunther,” she whispered.

Suddenly Gunther thrust her from him. She was startled.

“Gunther!” she cried.

Gunther stood up. He seemed very tall.

“Please, Gunther!” she wept.

“Beg on your knees to be fucked,” said Gunther.

Brenda Hamilton slipped to her knees, on the floor, before him. She lifted her head to him, tears in her eyes. “I beg to be fucked,” she said.

“No,” said Gunther. He laughed.

Brenda Hamilton looked up at him, in disbelief.

Gunther turned and stepped away from her. Near the mirror he bent down and picked up the cardboard box of cosmetics. He threw the brush and comb on the cot. The box, with the rest of its contents, he held in his left hand.

She had not moved. With his right hand, one after the other, he jerked the clip earrings, those with pendants, from her ears. “Oh!” she cried, her head jerked to one side. “Oh!” she wept, her head jerked to the other side. She put her fingertips to her ear lobes and felt blood. “Gunther!” she wept. He dropped the earrings in the box. He shook the contents of the box before her. “You will not be needing these any longer,” he said. “They have done their work.”

Brenda Hamilton shook her head negatively. “Gunther,” she whispered. “I do not understand.”

“Wash yourself,” said Gunther. “Get rid of the powder, the makeup, the lipstick.”

She looked at him.

“Hurry,” he said.

Obediently, Brenda Hamilton went to the water bucket and filled the bow). With the tiny sliver of soap, and the reverse side of the piece of toweling allotted to her, she washed, and wiped, her face.

She faced him.

“Again,” he said. “And swiftly!” ‘

She turned again to the bowl, the soap, the towel. Quickly, clumsily, she cleaned her face. She then turned again to face him, to be inspected.

“Come here,” said Gunther.

With his hand in her hair, he inspected her. He bent to smell her shoulder. “The perfume,” he said, “lingers, but it will dissipate in a day or so.”

By the hair he threw her to the cot..

He went to the door and knocked twice, sharply.

Brenda heard the padlocks being removed from the staples, heard them fall on their chains against the door. Then the door was ajar.

“Gunther,” she said.

He turned to face her.

“Why did you not rape me?” she asked.

“It is not mine to rape you,” he said.

“Not-yours?” she asked.

“No,” said Gunther.

She looked at him, not understanding.

He turned away.

Quickly she rose from the cot. She went to him. She put her hand on his arm. He looked down into her eyes. “Gunther,” she whispered, looking down, “please, please do not tell anyone what occurred in this room tonight – 2’

“Kneel,” he said.

She knelt, looking up at him.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“Do not tell anyone, please,” she said, looking up at him, “-how-how I acted.”

“How you acted?” he asked.

“What I said-what I did!” she whispered.

“On my honor as a gentleman?” he asked.

“Yes,” she said, fervently, “on your honor as a gentleman!”

“I am afraid,” he smiled, “that I cannot comply.”

“I do not understand,” she said.

“Surely you must understand that a full report, a complete report, exact and detailed, must be made to Herjellsen and William?” he asked.

“Report?” she whispered. “No! No!”

Brenda Hamilton, aghast, kneeling, sank helplessly back on her heels. She knew she had exposed herself as a woman with sexual needs, publicly, incontrovertibly, as a woman with desperate sexual needs, exposed clearly, publicly, unrepudiably. She did not doubt that Gunther’s report would be objective, complete, accurate. She put her head in her hands, weeping.

You are coming around beautifully, Brenda,” said Gunther. “In my opinion you are, even of this instant, quite ready.”

She lowered her hands, lifting her tear-stained face to him. “Ready?” she said, numbly.

“Yes,” said Gunther, “quite ready.”

“I do not understand,” she said.

“Go to the cot,” he said. “Stand beside it.”

She did so.

I do not understand,” she said.

“Sit on the cot,” he said. She did so. “Sit prettily,” he said. “Put your knees together. Put your ankles together, and to one side. Turn your body to face me.” She did so.

“What did you mean `ready’, Gunther?” she asked. “I do not understand.”

“You are stupid,” he said. He regarded her sternly.

She put her eyes down. “Yes, Gunther,” she said.

He smiled, and turned away.

“Let me have the cosmetics,” she begged, suddenly, looking up. “Let me keep them here.”

They were tiny articles. She had little else to cling to.

Gunther turned to face her. He regarded her evenly. “You will not need them,” he said. “They have served their purpose.”

“Please, Gunther,” she begged.

“When you are transmitted,” said Gunther, “surely you must understand that you will be transmitted raw.”

“Transmitted!” she cried.

“Certainly,” said Gunther. “You are essential to the third series of experiments.”

“Oh, no!” she wept. She slipped from the cot, and fell to her knees on the floor. “No!”

Gunther laughed.

Wildly, desperately, Brenda Hamilton looked about, like a caught animal, terrified.

“No!” she cried, as Gunther snapped one of his handcuffs on her left wrist, and, pulling her, threw her half back over the cot.

“You will try to escape,” he told her.

He then snapped the other cuff about the curved iron bar at the head of the cot, securing her to it.

“This will discourage you,” he said.

Brenda Hamilton leaped to her feet, pulling at the cuff, jerking the iron cot. She was perfectly secured to it. Bent over, her hand at the curved iron bar, cuffed to it, she watched Gunther leave.

“There is no escape,” said Gunther, closing the door behind him.

She heard the locking of the door.

With the frenzy of a caught she-animal she jerked at the cuff. She was held perfectly. Moaning she threw herself on the cot her left wrist on the mattress, just below the bar. She heard the cuff slide on the iron. She jerked at it. And then she lay still, weeping.

There was no escape for Brenda Hamilton.

 

5

“Where is the fork?” asked the black.

Brenda Hamilton, no longer handcuffed, kneeling across the room from him, away from the door, looked at him blankly. “There was only the spoon,” she said. She was never given a knife. The black looked at the tray on the cot, the tin mug, the crumbs, the spoon.

He had not been the one who had brought the tray.

He regarded her, suspiciously. She saw the pistol, strapped in the holster at his side.

He walked toward her, across the wooden floor. She did not raise her eyes.

Suddenly she felt his hand in her hair, and she felt herself half lifted, twisted, forced to look at him. “Please!” she wept.

“Where is the fork?” he asked. She could not meet his eyes.

“There was only a spoon!” she wept. “Stop! You’re hurting me!”

He pulled her to her feet, bent over, she crying out and with two strides, she running, to ease the pain on her head, dashed her, jerking her head to one side at the last moment, against the wall. His hand had not left her hair. She slumped against the wall, weeping. Then she cried out as he jerked her again to her feet and, with quick strides, ran her against the other wall, again jerking her head back at the last instant. She struck the wall with force, her head jerked sideways, twisted. The top of her head screamed with pain. She reached up to his hand, her small fingers at his wrist. She could not dislodge his hand. He twisted her hair again and she quickly drew back her hands, submitting to the lesser pain, acknowledging to him his control.

“Where is the fork?” he asked.

“There was only a spoon,” she wept. “Please! Please! Ask the boy who brought it!”

“Boy?” he asked.

“The man!” she cried. “Ask the man who brought it!”

He pulled her to her feet, and, she weeping, ran her against the far wall and then back again, each time forcing her to strike the wall with great force, jerking back her head. Never did his hand leave her hair. Then, angrily, he threw her to the floor, releasing her. She lay on her stomach, her hands covering as best she could her head and hair, weeping. She sensed his boots on either side of her body.

“Where is the fork?” he asked.

“The man didn’t bring one!” she wept. “Ask him! Please ask him!”

He stepped over her body. She heard him leave the room. Her thin cotton dress was soaked with sweat. Her body ached. She sensed it would be bruised. Her head, her scalp, still shrieked with pain.

But she lay on the floor, and smiled.

She had gained time. The black might not ask the other about the fork. The other might not remember. And for the whites, William, Gunther, Herjellsen, it would be only their word against hers.

With the fork, splinter by splinter, working within the closet, cutting through to the outside, she might escape!

The closet was never opened. She would put the tiny pile of debris within it and then, after dark, try to open the stucco, slip through, and get to the fence. It would not take long to dig under it, the ground was soft and dry. And then she could run and run, and run, and come, with luck, sooner or later, to a bush road, a strip road, or a graveled road, and be picked up, and carried to safety.

In the daylight, in a few hours, she might, without water, without shelter, collapse in the heat, perhaps die, but in the night, in the comparative coolness, she might be able to make several miles.

It might be enough. It must be enough!

She thought of the leopard, and was frightened, and of snakes.

But there were things she feared more then leopards, or snakes, or the blacks. She feared Gunther, and Herjellsen, and the experimental shack.

She must escape!

With the fork she had the chance!

She smiled.

She heard someone on the porch, three people. Quickly she looked up, startled.

Her eyes furtively darted to where she had hidden the fork.

She knew her story. She would stick to it.

She heard the padlocks being opened, removed from the staples, heard the locks falling on their chains against the wood of the door.

Quickly she knelt, assuming the position of submission before men.

But this time she felt a surge of joy she tried to conceal. She might be a woman, and a prisoner, but she, too, was a human being, and could be clever and cunning. She was a woman. She had been taught her femaleness. But she was not a simpleton, not a fool!

She was clever, cunning. She would fool them all and escape!

The door opened.

Brenda Hamilton was startled. Herjellsen stood in the doorway. It was the first time since her captivity that she had seen him. She gasped.

She looked at him.

He regarded her. She knew it was the first time he had seen her dressed as a woman, and as a woman prisoner of men.

“Please get up,” said Herjellsen. He blinked through the thick lenses of his glasses, glanced about the room.

Gratefully Brenda Hamilton rose to her feet.

Herjellsen returned his attention to her.

“You are an extremely attractive young woman, Doctor Hamilton,” said Herjellsen.

“Thank you,” said Brenda Hamilton.

“You have been crying,” he said. “Please, if you would, ` wash away your tears.”

Gratefully, Brenda Hamilton went to the water bucket, and with water, and a towel, washed her face.

“I do not like to see a woman’s tears,” said Herjellsen.

Brenda Hamilton said nothing.

Herjellsen looked at her.

“Please brush your hair now,” said Herjellsen.

Obediently, Brenda Hamilton, while Herjellsen, and the two blacks watched, brushed her hair.

Then she turned to face them. “Ah,” said Herjellsen, “that is better.”

They regarded one another.

“Now,” said Herjellsen, “where is the missing implement?” “What implement?” asked Brenda Hamilton.

“The missing fork,” said Herjellsen.

“There was no fork,” said Brenda Hamilton. “One was not brought with the tray.” She looked at the large black, who had abused her. “I told him that,” she said. “But he did not believe me.” Her voice trembled. “Look,” she said, indicating a bruise on her arm, where she had been hurled into the wall. “He was cruel to me!”

But Herjellsen did not admonish the black.

“He hurt me!” said Brenda Hamilton.

“At the least sign of insubordination,” said Herjellsen, “you must expect to be physically disciplined.”

“I see,” she said.

“Now,” said Herjellsen, “where is the fork?”

“One was not brought,” said Brenda Hamilton.

Herjellsen regarded her.

“Look!” she said, angrily. “Search the cell. I do not care!” “That will not be necessary,” said Herjellsen.

Brenda Hamilton looked at him.

“You will lead me to it,” he said.

The golden light of the late Rhodesian afternoon filtered into the room, between the bars, through the netting.

“Approach me, my dear,” said Herjellsen.

Hesitantly, Brenda Hamilton, barefoot, in the thin, white dress, sleeveless, approached him.

He then stood slightly behind her, to her left, and placed his band on her arm, above her elbow.

“There is nothing mysterious,” he told her, “in what I am now going to do.”

BOOK: John Norman
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