This is a mobile proxy. It is intended to visit the IOMfAtS Story Shelf on devices that would otherwise not correctly display the site. Please direct all your feedback to the friendly guy over at IOMfAtS!

Rescuing Richard

by Robert Cooper

In which the Earl gets involved with neighbours and finds unexpected extra responsibilities and a young boy who needs his protection.

We were riding in the managed woodlands. Andrew, Anthony, Geoff and myself. We were near the northern boundary of the woodlands when we came across some lichen covered masonry. We stopped to have a look, dismounted and scrambled over the heaps of rubble. It looked interesting and we proposed looking at the old maps when we got back to the Manor.

We were about to mount up and continue our ride when we hear a scream followed by female laughter. Moving quietly through the woods we spied movement. We quietly approached and saw a young boy tied to a fallen tree. He was naked and was being raped by three girls taking turns pushing a stick into his bottom.

I pulled my mobile out and gave it to Andrew telling him to carry on filming.

Geoff and I then went over and shouted at the girls to stop. They just laughed and said "he likes things in his arse".

We grabbed the girls and held them while Geoff phoned Mr. Lang and told him where we were and would he come as fast as he could and call the police as well.

He said "he would be with us in 5 minutes and he would tell the police to use the north boundary firebreak to get close."

"I told him two police cars were needed as there were 3 girls."

The girls were screaming that we had no right to hold them.

I replied that "a) they were trespassing and b) that they had committed an assault on the boy."

They said "prove it"

I just held up my camera and said "It's all on film".

Just then Mr. Lang arrived with two stable boys and helped us keep the girls from running and then we heard the police sirens.

When the police were with us the girls started on about keeping them against their will and so forth. I told them to be quiet, turned to the police and showed them the video capture on my phone.

I then introduced myself. "James Levitt, Earl of Braeborne"

I told them "I want these girls arrested for trespassing, kidnapping, assault causing actual bodily harm, assault with a weapon and sexual assault on a minor person."

"I will be taking the boy back to the manor where there is a Doctor who will examine his wounds and produce a report and then treat his wounds"

If they wanted a statement from him they could send somebody to the Manor or I would bring him into the station after treatment and finding him some clothes.

I would also have a lawyer present.

The police then handcuffed the girls and took them off in their car.

I carefully folded my anorak and made a comfortable "seat" on Black Knight .

I lifted him on and asked his name.

He said " I am Richard Upton of Upton Lodge ."

I left it at that until we got back to the Manor.

On the way I called Standish and asked him to get the family doctor and the estate solicitor to the manor for when we arrived.

While we rode I told Richard that I would get the whole details when the solicitor arrived. "Yes I WAS the Earl of Braeborne and yes I was going to help him in any way I could."

I also introduced Geoff as my boyfriend.

We arrived at the Manor and I could see two cars there.

One I recognised as the estate solicitor, the other I assumed was the Doctor.

I could also see one of the young grooms with some clothes for the boy.

Standish had already arranged a cover for one of the sofas in the small sitting room downstairs so I took the boy in there with the Doctor. I told him briefly what I had seen and left him with his patient.

After about 30 minutes they appeared, Richard now dressed in the loaned clothes.

A police inspector had meanwhile arrived to take Richard's statement. We went into the small dining room and sat round the table.

The inspector asked Richard of he was O.K. with all these people here.

He said "yes it was good."

He then told us his horrific story.

His parents Sir George and Lady Upton had died some four months ago in a car crash.

In his Will, Richard, aged 16, as the only male offspring had been left the entire estate. There was a trustee but he was in his 80s and took no interest so the probate solicitor had done the essential legal work and poor Richard had had to muddle along as best he could. His older sister had come and 'offered her assistance', moved in to Upton Lodge with two girlfriends and effectively taken over the place.

Richard was a virtual prisoner in his own house and constantly abused physically, mentally and sexually for the past three months.

The Doctor confirmed signs of physical and sexual abuse.

This particular day the girls had brought him into the woods, stripped him naked then beaten him with sticks.

They then tied him down onto a log and tried to push a stick into his rectum. (I had brought the stick back for forensic tests). His screams were what had caught our attention. The Doctor had samples of the wood from the boy's rectum. We had come onto the scene, started filming on the camera and stopped the girls from doing any more damage to the boy. We had then waited for the police to arrive. That was all for the moment.

I called Mrs. Lang to see if tea and sandwiches were available.

I asked Richard "Would he like to stay over for a few days".

He said that he would so I asked Standish to set up a room for him near Anthony.

I asked the solicitor to oppose bail in view of the serious sexual nature of the charges.

I wanted an immediate application to the High Court for a change of trustee.

I wanted a "No Contact" order against the girls.

I wanted all locks changed on the Lodge and the London Flat.

I would be prepared to stand as Trustee and Guardian if Richard wished.

I wanted the girls all charged with mental, physical and sexual abuse, kidnapping and assault causing actual bodily harm

I wanted them charged with attempting to steal the boys estate and conspiracy to steal the estate.

Based on the Doctors examination report I wanted substantial damages for pain and suffering.

Richard agreed to all this and signed the solicitors instructions.

The Solicitor went off to deal with the police on these charges.

Geoff, Standish (my Butler) and I took Richard back to Upton Lodge to get some clothes and things.

Thus We Saved Richard.

On our way over to Upton Lodge I asked Richard about the staff.

He told me "they had been totally subjugated by the girls and did as they were told without argument."

"He had a House Manager, two young footmen, two cooks and two housemaids."

"The two housemaids had been active in the abuse by the sister."

I asked how he coped with running the house at his young age,

"He said it was all done by the House Manager but he did not trust him. The young footmen and the cooks were OK though."

I asked him directly if he wanted our help or did he want to do it alone?

He replied that he had no idea about running a big house.

I suggested he follow me like a shadow for a week or so to learn the basics.

Meantime Geoff and Standish to go and sort the staff at Upton Lodge also get the housemaids arrested if they were still there. I had already asked Geoff and Standish if they would do this and also if Standish knew of a young butler to take over the running of the Lodge.

I telephoned the Police Inspector and told him about the girls at Upton Lodge and he said he would act immediately. He would meet us at the Lodge .

He asked if an 'Inventory' had been taken of the Lodge at his parents death.

Richard was not sure but gave the solicitors name who dealt with the probate.

He also asked if Richard had signed any cheques for the girls as this could add extortion to the charges against the sister and her friends. Richard said he will come with me and the Inspector and show him the chequebook.

I asked Richard if he had a good friend who he trusted implicitly to help him and keep him company. He told me that he had a very good friend at school. From the way he blushed I suspected it was a "with benefits" friendship. If he had address and telephone I would contact the family, explain the situation and make some arrangements. They would also need a tutor. I would ask Mr. Timms if he wanted another two pupils or if he knew somebody.

The Inspector arrived and Richard signed the complaint. Richard and I, Geoff and Standish all got in the Range Rover and went to Upton Lodge followed by the police car.

We were met by two frightened footmen (boys) who told us the girls were packing everything small and valuable, the house manager was drunk and the two cooks were locked in the kitchen, terrified.

First thing, the inspector and his constable went and arrested the two girls. They had a camera to photograph the stolen items that they were packing.

We "rescued" the two cooks and told them what was going on. The drunken house manager took a swing at the inspector and was promptly arrested and handcuffed. Another police car was called with a female police officer for the arrested females.

Richard produced the family chequebook and showed all the cheques he had been forced to sign.

They amounted to about £55K. all payable to his sister. He also recognised the car the girls were using as his mother's car from the London flat. Add taking without owners consent and driving uninsured to the list. Geoff and I said we would go with Richard to examine the London Flat tomorrow and also arrange for the locks to be changed.

The cooks and the boys agreed to stay on and look after the lodge, then after a police search, to clean out everywhere the girls had used and make the whole place spotless. They were given a cash float and the Manor phone number if they needed anything. The house manager was NOT to be allowed entry. He would be told that he was fired and his effects returned to him at the police station. Would they pack all his gear ready for collection tomorrow morning please. We will deliver it to the police together with a letter of dismissal on our way to London.

The London flat was a MESS. I called the police in to see if we had grounds for criminal damage to add to the charges by the local police. They visited and agreed, sent in their photographic team to provide evidence. They found some suspicious items and wanted to carry out forensic tests so we could not get the cleaners in yet, though they agreed to us having the locks changed.

Surprisingly the locksmith had a cancellation that afternoon and brought some high security locks with him and changed them in the afternoon. We gave a key to the police forensic team so they could do their tests. They suspected cannabis and cocaine in small bags hidden in a wardrobe. A sniffer dog got all excited about one of the kitchen cupboards as well.

They agreed to send the key back to the Manor when they had finished.

Returned to the Manor in time for dinner, then settled for a good chat including Standish. He said we did not need a proper Butler just a House Manager. By coincidence, a colleague of his and two footmen were looking for a place as their house was being demolished. He knew them well (one was his young cousin) and they could provide good references. If Richard wished, he could get them to come and see him. This would bring his house staff up to quota. They could be free tomorrow as their people were away. So I said

"Get them to come to the Manor first then if Richard felt O.K. with them we could then go to the lodge for them to see it."

I then telephoned his friend's parents, I explained the situation and asked if his friend could come and stay with him after this horrid trauma. They knew where the Manor was and said they would pack some things for Allen and bring him over within the hour.

A llen and his adoptive parents arrived just inside the hour. Allen was dark, Afro-American, direct contrast to Richard's Nordic appearance. As soon as they appeared, Allen ran to Richard and held him tight. We all sat and Richard gave account of what had happened to him since his parents death.

Allan's parents were horrified especially when I told them what we had found at the London flat.

I told them what I had arranged for Richard so far and what I proposed.

Allen to live at the Lodge as Richard's companion.

I had my own tutor who's references were impeccable who had agreed to tutor the boys to G.C.S.E standards at first, then more if they wanted.

To manage the Lodge and its grounds Richard certainly needed 'A' levels and also perhaps a degree in Estate Management which he could do on line. Allan could learn alongside him.

Upton Lodge was doing O.K. but had suffered for some years without guidance.

Richard could soon be quite a wealthy land owner.

Perhaps I should ask Sheldon to look over the estate and give his advice.

I would be on hand for any advice and assistance that he would ask for. His estate bordered mine so he could almost shout and be heard.

Allen's parents wanted time to consider all this information but agreed to let Allen stay for the time being. After a bit more general conversation they went off home to consider. I sweet talked Mrs. Lang into producing some boy food for the lads. "Spag-boll" seemed to be the popular choice.

We decided on early nights all round with an early start tomorrow.

It seems that Standish has allocated one of his youngest staff as valet for the boys. They appeared for breakfast still slightly sleepy. A good meal of scrambled egg, bacon and toast soon woke them up.

They both had some riding experience and we decided to ride out after breakfast and find Sheldon and talk estate management with him. I called Mr. Lang and asked him if he could get Black Knight, Molly, (Geoff's horse) and two ponys for the boys ready for us. Meanwhile I showed them round part of the ground floor and my Estate Office. I explained all the work we had done over the past year.

By then, the horses were ready so we donned out outdoor clothes and went to look for Sheldon.

On his office door was a plan of the estate with a big red marker with his name on it. "Sheldon is here". We set off looking. Richard was very impressed with the size of my estate. Found Sheldon and chatted generally about estate management. He agreed to come over after lunch to look over the Lodge's grounds. He said he would also ride over as we did not know what ground there was.

We rode on until the woodlands. I wanted to see more of the ruins there and possibly find some of Richard's clothes. I had only looked at a fairly modern Ordonance Survey map and all it gave was "Ruins". I promised myself to look into the file cabinet at the older maps and see if there was more.

When we got to the ruins I cautioned everybody not to disturb anything, just look and take some photos on mobile phones.

The ruins were quite extensive about 100x50 meters indicating a large building or perhaps more than one. Nothing remaining above knee height but that indicated an older building that had been robbed of it's masonry, perhaps even some used to build Upton Lodge. We cast around for clothes but found nothing. The boys were feeling cold by now so we went back to the Manor for hot drinks and for me to look at the maps. The map cabinets had been moved during the renovation to our private office. Geoff and I left the boys with hot chocolate and biscuits and went to find the maps. We told the boys to meet us in the big dining room. Finding a bundle of very old maps we took them to the dining room where we could spread the maps out on the big table. We also downloaded the pictures we took and printed them off.

The oldest map in th is bunch dated 1600 showed the Manor Grounds and near the northern boundary was marked " Villa Ruins " The shape marked on the map was very like the shape on the present photos.

The boys were very excited about this, especially when I suggested we look at the Lodge masonry to see if my theory was correct about the ruins being robbed for their stones.

As we had time, we took a quick trip to the Outdoor Centre for anoraks and heavy jeans for the boys. We had told Mr. Lang that we would need the horses again after lunch, also a mount for Mr. Sheldon.

Lunch was Steak Pie, mashed potatoes and vegetables. Served in the small dining room.

I had left the maps out for further examination, I intended to call the Local History office and say "I think I have found a Roman Villa" and see what excitement that statement generates.

Sheldon arrived just after lunch. We told him there was a horse ready for him and we all mounted up and set off for Upton Lodge. Richard was not sure of the exact format of his property but we could look at the probate documents for that information. We were just having a first look at the property to see what was there. Richard said that he thought about 100 acres of arable land.

We could see quite defined boundaries near the house with other fields to north and west. Sheldon noticed that some of the fencing needed repair or replacement. Some of the fields had gone fallow and needed substantial work to get them back into production. Stables and machinery sheds needed repairs but nothing major. There was some machinery in the sheds, they looked quite modern but obviously needed service and cleaning. After a couple of hours checking around he decided he had seen enough for today. The boys were looking cold and we should return to the Manor. He had plenty of pictures on his phone so he could give us a report quite soon, perhaps tomorrow afternoon.

He also had a friend from Uni that would be ideal for taking on this estate. He was leaving his present job because of the "always done it this way" attitude of the Manager of his present employment. If Richard was interested he could arrange a meeting.

The House Manager and his two boys were a great hit with the boys and all were working well together.

Because of the extortion by the sister, money was a little tight but fortunately the last two cheques had not been presented and also the police had obtained a court order freezing her bank account with almost all of the remainder still unspent. Once the court case about money was complete then Richard should be "Status Quo Ante.". Also the bank was being very co-operative.

The boys were also spending time with the estate manager that Sheldon had found. He had two farm hands and between them they had found the probate land survey, rode the boundaries and established what needed doing and arranged it in order of urgency. The boys found this knowledge very useful.

They had also found a barn full of farm machinery and slowly working through it, evaluating repairs needed etc.

So, between the House Manager Stokes, Field Manager Rowlands and Mr Timms the Tutor the boys were fully occupied.

After some weeks living at the Manor and observing how things were organised, the boys decided to relocate to the Lodge. They got settled in there but kept in touch by phone or visit two or three times a week and Geoff and I visited at least once a week. Cook seemed to have 'adopted' the boys and after their first bad experiences were settled in to their new life style. Allen's parents had agreed to the new situation for their adopted son and visited every two weeks or so.

Mr. Watson, my accounts manager had set up a separate programme on his system to manage the finances of Upton Lodge.

The various court cases were grinding through the system. The girls had already been convicted of the assault on young Richard and given five year prison sentences. We were waiting trials for the extortion, robbery and drugs offences. The London Flat had been cleaned and made ready and was now at rental for a substantial rent so Richard was not short of money. The mothers car had been sold.

As newly appointed trustee and guardian I was cosignator with Richard for cheques.

It was agreed that for the time being they could use a couple of ponies from my stables after some coaching from Stable master Mr. Lang. They would phone Mr. Lang, ride over on their bicycles, collect their ponys and then ride back to the Lodge and spend the day in the fields and checking the boundaries. They were specially pleased that three fields were already in production and their kitchen garden had been recovered from the overgrowth of weeds etc. and was now showing edible vegetables and fruits.

For their young ages they were certainly learning estate management quickly and were not afraid to get down and dirty in the gardens.

Most of their farm machinery just needed clean and service, only a few items needed major work or replacement. It was agreed that major farm items could be rented from Braebourne estates when needed. The machinery barn had been re-roofed and was now watertight and fit for purpose. The stables were cleaned and repaired ready for use but not yet for permanent residents but handy for Manor ponies when the boys had a tutorial session during the day.

So, Upton Lodge was running properly, already partly in production and looking for full production by next year.

And so life settled down again. (Until the next crisis.)

Read More Stories by this Author
Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead