In this final part I have tried to allow the reader who has followed the first three stories to change his and, more especially her, thoughts to ones of Peace and Security rather than of Violence and Hate - the hate of actions not of people. It is especially appropriate that this weekend as I post these stories on Wizzley that The Revolution of Peace takes place in London.
The Abusers ~ A Short Story from the Pen of Ralpapajan
The fourth and final part of a short series of short stories that deal with Man on Woman abuse that led up to the first Abused Woman's Shelter in 1971.
These are the three other stories that make up this series.
They should be read in this order.
The first in the series please read first.
The second in the series of four.
The third in the series of four
This is what the entire Series of Stories was leading up to.
The Sisterhood of Women showing the way forward
This Colour Conference takes place in London this weekend. To me it epitomises the Way Forward to a Greater Consciousness that is needed in the world today.
I hate violence and this should not be taken as my advocacy of the 'eye for an eye' retribution. However, as I wrote this I became very angry and should the reader feel the same than maybe, just maybe, their imagination will be able to defuse that anger!
Miles thought he wasn't brave! He was a Greek Mythological Hero compared to me!
It took a great deal of courage for me to telephone Rebecca, or Becky as we all called her. We had been an item at Oxford where she studied Law and graduated a couple of years after me. I had just studied some meaningless degrees to satisfy the family tradition and my heart wasn't in it. She had a driving force inside her to be the best at any and everything she attempted. Sports was possibly the only thing that didn't interest her. I had been hopelessly and completely in love with her and asked her to marry me one fine Spring day in April when the showers were over temporarily and the rain washed air felt pure and fresh. We had hired a chauffeured punt near the Magdalen Bridge and as we lay back on the cushions I produced the ring and popped the question. I knew what the answer would be but it was good to hear it!
My euphoria lasted all of 24 hours. Then I heard someone speaking about our Engagement, yet to be announced in the Times. The words one, a close friend of hers, I knew, used the fateful words, "So Becky will be coming into a fortune when she gets married. She deserves it after all the work she put in."
My heart fell and almost burst. The one person I really trusted was like all the rest, out to get my fortune and she didn't really love me.
In a rage I returned to my chambers near the University, packed all her clothes and personal things into a suitcase, wrote a vitriolic letter, summoned the porter and sent him to her rooms. Then I packed my own bags and drove off, back to St Albans. I had obtained my degree the previous year and only stayed in Oxford to be near to her.
That short drive in the Jag was the beginning of the 'Descent of Robin' as Miles had dubbed it. I moved to London and rented rooms there. then I started consorted with what I considered to be the lowest of the low before gravitating to Earls Court and moved into the Club.
That had been ten years ago. I stood out at first for my accent, inherited from my family, and established at Eton had been honed at Oxford. I found that I identified with the Colonials, especially those from the Southern Hemisphere. I soon made friends from all the countries down there, South Africa, Rhodesia, Australia and New Zealand.
After about a year of mixing with them, especially the girls, whom I found to be approachable, and being introduced to Aussies who had settled in London and who were now almost master criminals, I accepted an invitation to visit a cattle Station in the Northern Territory. I stayed there a year and then returned home when my mother took ill. After that I did more travelling and acquired an accent that was a mixture of all four countries I had lived in.
Then fate took a hand. I read in the Times, sent out to Salisbury in Rhodesia where I was living to the Salisbury Club where I was a reciprocal Member, that Becky's father had died and that she was the last of her line. "The vast fortune, in terms of the will will be added to the already vast Trust Fund set up in her name that she may only access after her marriage," read a part of the obituary. She would be almost as rich as I would one day be.
That night I sat in the Member's Lounge and drank an entire bottle of Chivas Regal. At some time the waiters and porter, I suppose, put me to bed in one of the guest rooms.
As soon as I was able I was on a flight to London using the Rhodesian carrier CAA and in their Douglas DC 6A. The end of Federation had been announced and with it the end of an era. To me it was the beginning of an era.
The long flight home sapped my confidence as I recalled the bitter accusations I had made. Never could Becky forgive me. Never, for the names I had called her were simply beyond the pale.
So it was that I started visiting her new rooms and watched her windows for a glimpse of her. I saw her often during that long six months but she never saw me. She probably saw what she thought was a derelict in old clothes and unshaven.
Then I was invited by a girl from the Club in Earls Court where I was now accepted as a Pommie who had seen the light and become a Colonial to go on the Hippie Trail to Katmandu.
I still had some vestige of respect for the Family so informed them where I would be going. They, of course, were horrified. Mother had died a few months before and I had attended the Funeral Service but sat at the back so no-one would notice me. Only Jenkins had. He had been horrified.
That trek had been an amazing experience and I was constantly being pressured to start on drugs, but never did.
At last I found the courage to use the telephone. Her Secretary put me through to her almost immediately. My title was useful.
A tentative voice asked, "Robin. Is that you?"
My heart lurched and I almost put the handset back in it's cradle.
Then I spoke in a businesslike, I thought, manner and made an appointment to see her. I was forming a Foundation and she was the only person I wanted on my Board of Trustees - "... The only Legal Person I can trust." A soft snort followed that sentence but she gave me an appointment at her Apartment for 7 o'clock that evening.
I arrived on time and was shown into a well set up study by the housekeeper who brought in a pot of coffee. I don't drink tea but was usually asked my preference.
Becky seemed to me to be unchanged apart from some tiny lines around the eyes.
She greeted me cordially and we got straight down to business. She was very professional and formal.
She listened carefully as I told her the entire story and what I wanted to do. She never argued or disagreed until I had finished. Then she said, rather vehemently, "The first thing to do is to get a restraining order against her so-called family. And then get an annulment."
I shook my head. "No need to worry about the family. I'll sort that out. Sparrow, yes. But can you get an annulment?"
"With your money and my connections it will be a sinecure." She paused and looked at me with what I took to be her piercing lawyer's gaze. "You are going to do something desperate and foolhardy, aren't you?"
I started to speak but she stopped me. "I don't want to know. When will this take place?"
"I am seeing my friends at Surrey Dock tomorrow, Friday, so I guess on Saturday night."
"You'll need an alibi. I will provide that."
I looked at her sharply. "I beg your pardon," I stammered.
She held her left hand out and I could see the ring on her middle finger. My ring. "Come," she said. "You can move in now and we'll start on that alibi." She saw me looking at the ring with my jaw hanging open. "I never took it off. I knew what your insecurities were so I waited for you to grow up. I must admit I did weaken when I saw you looking like a tramp across the road every day for months but decided you should suffer."
And that is why I always call my son 'My little Alibi', for he was started that night.
On Friday I went and picked up the suitcase from Harold's and told Gwynne that Becky would be coming during the day and what she was going to do. Gwynne started crying with happiness for she and Becky had kept in touch, in fact they had stayed at each other's homes on several occasions.
That evening it was the old reprobate with the rough accent that entered a pub near the Surrey Docks looking for Mad Mike, my Aussie friend. It took a few beers and some tome to explain the situation and what I wanted doing. I gave him thousand pounds, a bag of sand in his language, advance. "Telephone when it;s done," I told him, "and there's more cash if you need it."
He just growled.
On Friday night after I got back, shaved and showered and put the clothes back into the case, we spent another night of bliss, waking late on Saturday and then lay in bed all day, making plans and telling each other what we had been up to.
Saturday evening we went to dinner at Becky's favourite restaurant and she showed her ring to the photographers who ritually gathered near the door on a celebrity watch. We knew that the Engagement would be in all the morning newspapers and my alibi would be established.
Then it was back to her apartment and a seemingly endless wait for the phone to ring.
It was after midnight when it did and I picked it up immediately.
The heavy rasping Aussie accent told me it was Mike.
"It went down well. We stripped them naked and thrashed them with rubber hoses. We also stripped the two bitches and made them watch. Didn't touch 'em there was no need. They jus thought they were for it. You can rest assured that when they can move they'll never bother your Sheila agin. I put the Fear of Michel into them."
Becky looked at me and then said, "If you ever do anything like that again, I will personally horse-whip you to within an inch of your life."
So the Board of Trustees was complete, And it was all in the family. Sure we had a long way to go but the six of us, including Jenkins and Gwynne, would get there.