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Bengo strolled into his cabin later to find Bardin, newly washed and clad in his bath-robe, cleaning his teeth.
“I thought I’d better freshen up”, said Bardin “Julian’s summoned me to have tea with him. You know what that means”.
“Ooh”, said Bengo, going pink with pleasure “I wish I could come and watch”.
“There’s no need for me to be publicly spanked every time”, said Bardin, a smile twitching at his lips.
“It’s not public when I do it”, Bengo pointed out.
“No”, said Bardin “I’m glad to say. In some ways I wish it was Kieran who was getting it though, he’s been annoying me all day”.
“Kieran gets it all the time!” said Bengo “Anyway, there’s nothing to stop you walloping him. Joby wouldn’t mind. Though I spect you can’t sit down long enough to do it at the moment!”
“I won’t be able to soon, that’s for sure!” said Bardin “I have a feeling Julian’s going to use the paddle on me”.
“The Club’s gonna be real jealous”, said Bengo.
“Do you think so?” said Bardin, coquettishly.
“Ooh you’re really loving playing the sex-bomb aren’t you!” said Bengo, playfully ruffling Bardin’s neatly-combed hair.
“Well I never got to be the sexpot at the Cabaret”, said Bardin.
“I don’t know why”, said Bengo “You’ve always been bloody sexy to me”.
“I think the hare-lip was a big no-no”, said Bardin “And I had the wrong personality for it. Too brittle and bolshy”.
“Your personality is REALLY sexy”, said Bengo, kissing him.
Bardin gave a sigh of pleasure.
“I’d better not hold him up though”, he said.
“What shorts do you want to wear?” said Bengo, going over to the chest of drawers.
“I’m going to wear two layers”, said Bardin “Or I’ll be fit for nothing. The most starched pair over a pair of my thermal pants. I know it’s hot, but added protection, and they’ll keep the cotton ones uncreased”.
“I hope he doesn’t object to two layers”, said Bengo.
“No reason why he should”, said Bardin “He gets two lots for the price of one!”
Bardin was accosted by Umbert the minute he stepped out of his cabin.
“Bardin, you’ve got to hear this”, said Umbert, urgently “Something’s appeared on the wireless set. I think you should hear it”.
Bardin’s heart sank. He was all geared up for his sound thrashing, bundled up in two pairs of shorts under his trousers, and wasn’t in the mood for another Random Plot Development.
“Whoever it is, is asking for you!” said Umbert, grabbing him by the wrist and pulling into the dining-room.
“Asking for me?!” said Bardin.
He went over to the wireless. By now several of the others had become alerted too, and had piled into the room. Bardin flicked the switch so that it could be heard publicly. There came the sound of heavy, laboured breathing.
“Blimey, obscene phone call!” said Joby.
“Bardin? Are you there?” can an expensive-sounding deep male voice over the ether.
“This is Captain Bardin of the Indigo Galleon”, said Bardin “Who am I speaking to?”
“Don’t you recognise my voice?” said the voice.
“No I don’t”, said Bardin “And I’m in no mood for time-wasting games. I repeat, who am I speaking to?”
“I am Aleister Crowley”, said the voice.
An agitated ran round the room.
“Crowley”, Bardin whispered.
“Ah you remember me”, said Crowley “I was so hoping you would. It took me some while to find this frequency”.
“Where are you?” said Bardin.
“Oh very nearby”, said Crowley “You saw my house yesterday”.
“Holy shit!” said Joby.
“You’re on the other side of the lake?” said Bardin, horrified.
“Oh absolutely”, said Crowley “I did so enjoy watching your nude frolics”.
“I bet he did, the old perv!” said Joby.
Bardin waved to him to be silent.
“How long have you known about us being here?” said Bardin.
“Oh some while”, said Crowley “But I have no boat you see. I arrived at the house travelling over land. I was delighted to hear you had finally ventured over to our side at last. Was so hoping curiosity was eventually going to get the better of you. Have been trying for an age to reach you via a wireless, and now it all happens at once. The Universe often surprises us when we have given up all hope”.
The Universe decided at that moment though to throw a spanner in the works, and the signal began to break up, before fading completely.
“Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs”, said Joby.
“I wonder how long he’s been living there”, said Adam, in dismay.
“Do you want me to keep an eye on the wireless, Bardin?” said Umbert.
“Yes”, said Bardin “Don’t obsess about it though. I can’t say I’m impatient to hear Crowley again, though I’m sure we will!”
Julian wielded the wooden paddle firmly over the seat of Bardin’s white shorts. Bardin was in a state of bliss, his body was tingling from head to foot. If Crowley had hoped his wireless transmission was going to be a showstopper on the galleon, he was in for a disappointment. Bardin had temporarily developed amnesia about it. He spread his legs to feel the shorts digging into him as the paddle was applied.
At the finish Julian squeezed him gently, and paid tribute to his “beautiful acrobat’s body”. He set him back on his feet, and Bardin’s cotton shorts fell down, exposing him in his thermal ones.
“I love your thermals too, Bardin”, Julian laughed “Go and sit on the cushion on the window seat. I shall bring your tea over”.
Bardin tugged down the legs of the shorts and walked stiffly over to the seat. His behind was tingling in a mad frenzy.
“You feel pleasantly sore now”, said Julian, bringing a tea-cup over to him “But don’t leave it too long before Bengo rubs some cream onto you”.
“Did you sock it to me then because you’re jealous of The Club?” said Bardin, mischievously.
“Not at all, in spite of what Adam’s probably told you”, said Julian, joining him on the window seat “Not when I know I can paddle your behind like that. Hoowie shall be insanely jealous”.
“Good!” said Bardin, sniffing violently as he stirred his tea “Bengo always marvels that I get so emotional after a hiding. But what does he expect when I’m stripped down to my underwear and soundly spanked! Particularly when I’m publicly chastised in The Club!”
“How many have you had lately?” said Julian.
“Adam smacked me with the hairbrush in the old kitchen”, said Bardin “Bengo had me over his knee, and now you with the paddle”.
“Excellent”, said Julian “The good work must be kept up”.
“Trouble is, it makes me feel horny as hell all the time”, said Bardin.
“Nothing wrong with that”, said Julian “An extremely pleasant state to be in. I can’t imagine Bengo’s complaining! God, I do love you clowns, you’re so gloriously up for it all the time”.
“If you mean ritual humiliation, yes I suppose we are”, Bardin laughed “Given half a chance, Bengo’d be getting kinky with the whipped cream as well!”
“Is there any reason why you can’t?” said Julian “Thanks to the goats we never seem to be short of all that stuff”.
“Suppose not”, said Bardin “I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll mention it to him later. I just hope Crowley leaves us alone”.
“I’m sure the old swine will try and be a nuisance”, said Julian “But there’s a limit to what he can do if he hasn’t got a boat”.
“I hope he was telling the truth there”, said Bardin “Personally, I wouldn’t trust a word he said!”
“Of course he could have the boat moored in a secret cavern”, said Bardin, a short while later “We’ve done that ourselves sometimes”.
“Bardin!” said Bengo, pausing in the midst of rubbing cream into Bardin’s sore buttocks “If you don’t stop going on about Crowley’s non-existent boat …”
“MIGHT BE non-existent boat”, said Bardin.
“Might be non-existent boat”, said Bengo “I’ll smack your legs, I swear I will!”
“OK OK”, said Bardin, shrugging as best he could in a lying face-down position “But these possibilities will have to be examined sometime”.
“It seems you need even more spankings to stop you fretting”, said Bengo “The Club will have to meet again soon”.
“Please, not today though”, said Bardin “With the best will in the world even I need to recover from the paddling I’ve just had from Julian”.
“Shame it didn’t paddle any sense into you!” said Bengo.
“I wouldn’t be much of a Captain if I didn’t consider these possibilities”, said Bardin.
“Yeah, but don’t consider them when I’m massaging your bum!” said Bengo “I don’t want to think about Crowley when you’re here like this”.
“He was a bit of a monstrous old toad wasn’t he!” said Bardin “Do you want to hear something saucy instead?”
“Of course I do”, said Bengo.
“Julian said he didn’t see any reason why we couldn’t muck about with cream in here”, said Bardin “And if he says it’s OK Adam’ll be forced to agree”.
“Ooh”, Bengo paused to clap his hands “Just you and me though Bardy, not the other clowns as well”.
“Well it wouldn’t be very sexy with them involved would it!” said Bardin “Just you and me. You can humiliate me some more, how’s that? Get revenge on me for my Nasty Clown days”.
“Oh you can pie me first I don’t mind”, said Bengo “Be quite like old times. And then I’ll do you”.
“Adam!” Umbert crept into the galley like an interloper “He’s there on the wireless again. That crazy guy from earlier. He’s back. He wants to speak to Bardin again”.
“Well he can’t”, said Adam “Bardin’s still in with Bengo, and I don’t think they should be disturbed, and certainly not for Aleister! I’ll come and speak to the old fool”.
Adam strode into the dining-room and across to the wireless set, picking up the headphones.
“Good afternoon Aleister”, said Adam, in a tense voice.
“Who am I speaking to now?” came Crowley’s drawl.
“This is Adam”, said Adam.
There was an awed pause for a few seconds. Crowley was first-rate crashing snob, and Adam’s aristocratic credentials always had a profound effect on him.
“Adam, my dear fellow …” he began.
“What do you want, Aleister?”
“I want Bardin”.
“He’s otherwise engaged at the moment”, said Adam.
“No, you don’t understand”, Crowley gave a revolting chuckle “I want him here, with me”.
Adam’s jaw literally dropped open.
“And also”, Crowley went on “That rather fine lean, hairy one I saw cavorting about yesterday. Yes I want them both over here”.
“Aleister, I know you’ve always been a trifle mad”, said Adam, trying to keep control of his temper “But that is a ridiculous request. Of course you can’t have Bardin and Hoowie. They belong here with us”.
“I wouldn’t take that as an assumption, Adam”.
He stopped and slammed down the headset again.
“The blasted signal’s gone again”, he said “Just as I was working myself up into a fine rant!”
“Has he always been that mad?” said Umbert.
“I keep forgetting you’ve never met him”, said Adam “I’ve never been sure if Aleister is completely mad, or just possessed of an insanely monstrous ego. I certainly never expected him to go this far”.
“I can disconnect the wireless if you like”, said Umbert “Stop him getting through”.
“We’d better leave that decision to Bardin”, said Adam “In the meantime, I’ll go and tell Julian”.
“God Bardin, this is really exciting”, said Hoowie, cornering Bardin in the dining-room just before lunch “Isn’t this great!”
“How the hell can it be great?” said Bardin “Even your ferret brain can’t come to that conclusion surely?”
“It’s brilliant”, said Hoowie “Julian’s said if needs be he’ll lock you and me in the hold for safety’s sake, out of harm’s way. We’d be locked in together!”
“That is an appalling thought”, said Bardin.
“It’s not you know”, said Hoowie “You’d have to fight me off grabbing you”.
“Suddenly the thought of being kidnapped by Crowley doesn’t seem so bad”, said Bardin.
“That’d be good too”, said Hoowie “Because the others would have to rescue us. We’d get loads of fuss and attention”.
“You already get too much fuss and attention!” said Bardin “Tell you what, why don’t we just lock you in the hold anyway, and I’ll stay up here!”
Hoowie suddenly squeezed Bardin’s buttocks very roughly.
“Ow!” Bardin cried “You great, lanky …”
He began to chase Hoowie round the table, but was stymied by Adam coming in, carrying the cutlery basket.
“Now that’s enough”, he said “What have I said to you before about running around in the dining-room?”
“He squeezed my behind”, Bardin complained “It’s sore!”
“Well you’ll have to get used to that, Bardin”, said Adam “It’s going to be a permanent state of affairs from now on!”
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