The Woman in Red: 49. In the lion’s den
Finally, they left the parking of the Carlton without anybody causing trouble. Both of them abducted couldn’t lift a finger against the precautions the gangsters had taken. They were handcuffed and gagged again so that they couldn’t communicate.
The trip with the car took about an hour. The car stopped in the surroundings of Paris. A sweeping driveway led to a house. Because of the trees that were on the side of the road, this building had been hidden in a sea of green. After the gangsters had entered the code at the gate, both parts of the gate swung open and they could continue their drive.
The car drove in front of a Victorian style building, an exception on the houses you found in this region. It didn’t matter a lot to Jean-Pierre or Katarina. They were trapped and a some kind of house couldn’t change their feelings about what happened.
The car stopped for an annex of the big building. The leader of the scoundrels led them inside the house while his accomplices parked the car in a garage.
Without delay, he directed them to the second floor.
‘I am still convinced that you know more than you are saying, but be sure, before the sun sets, you’ll tell me the truth.’ The voice of the pedantic gangster brought them back to the painful reality.
‘Sorry, Katarina, but your voyage can end here. The third tape is extremely important, but as I said just now, you know more than you’re letting loose. Here you can cry or yell, nobody will come to help you.’
Both Katarina and Jean-Pierre felt he wasn’t bluffing. If nothing happened now, this would be their swan song. Jean-Pierre looked at Katarina. What he felt transcended any fear or panic. The only thing he could think of was Katarina. Her well-being was a lot more important than his own health. He loved her and he would die for her, but he hoped from the deepest of his heart that his death wouldn’t be in vain.
However, Katarina reacted very strangely. She looked the gangster straight in his eyes and made incomprehensible sounds due to the fact she was gagged.
‘Have you anything to say, before I explain the principle of waterboarding. I can assure you, nobody can resist this method of torture. Nonetheless, you’re not actually drowning, it only feels that way. The panic you experience in your body is beyond words. A lot of stronger persons had to admit defeat after this treatment.
Both accomplices had been busy in the meantime. They had filled the bathtub in the bathroom. Without waiting and with muffled sounds they pulled Jean-Pierre to the bathroom. Katarina too was taken and put on a chair beside the bathtub.
Jean-Pierre knew he really would die now. This was his last moments alive. He had gone along on an adventure that would end badly. They would let him undergo the worst torture existing. He had read about this method. Nobody could withstand this ordeal, everybody succumbed to this way of persuasion. A few minutes with a wet towel over your head and the water poured over your face became a real agony.
With the first liquid coming through the towel, you tried to keep breathing. But the continuing flood of water made it impossible. The first thirty seconds every man could survive. But after a short break a repetition of this procedure was something you couldn’t compare with anything. The mind was broken after a few attempts with this procedure. The gangsters knew how to break someone.
‘I’m going to drown your friend bit by bit, Katarina. If you love him, you will tell us, how we make contact with that so called General or anybody who has the third tape in his possession. This is the ultimate chance.’
Katarina mumbled some unintelligible sounds and seemed to be panicking. ‘Do you have to say something, maybe before we drown your dear friend?’ The gangster seemed to have fun. He made a sign at one of his accomplices.
He came to stand behind Katarina and removed the gag out of her mouth.
Katarina took a large breath of the fresh oxygen that now was available when they took the gag away.
‘I will tell you everything, the truth.’
The leader frowned. ‘Now you will sing, my dear. I assure you, I don’t make empty threats. Your friend will go down if you don’t sing the song I want to hear. Do you really understand what that means?’
Katarina nodded with all the conviction she had still in her as if her life depended on it.
‘Okay, let’s hear, we are all ears, darling.’
‘Please,’ Katarina had to take a breath before she could go on, ‘can I have a glass of water before I speak any further, I’m feeling unwell.’
The bandit smiled. ‘Not a problem, Katarina. A glass of water can’t be in the way of the truth. But I warn you, if I’m not happy about your story, I’ll let you choke in that bit of water. Capisce!’
Nonetheless Katarina’s intervention, panic overwhelmed Jean-Pierre’s body and you could read the death agony in his eyes. He didn’t understand it anymore when suddenly hell broke loose.