(Quite a few readers e-mailed me about Kneehigh. What happened to her, they want to know? I hesitated to tell her story because of the…sensitive…nature of her personal life. But, because I hate loose ends, I’d rather relent and give in. Here then, is the truth. Warts and all. Sensitive readers might want to skip this episode.)
When the judge glared at Miss Katie Leggings (known locally as Kneehigh), after he had read the sentence, he wondered if he shouldn’t have added to her ten-year spell in jail. Sure, the defence described her background in great detail, pleading mitigation. But, he secretly admitted, she was a really sexy lady – maybe she would have enough time (while still in her prime) to settle down in a normal society. He had imposed the lightest punishment allowable under the law, considering the massive fraud she had been involved in over the years.
RD+P had used her as honey to attract the bees. Whether they wanted an investor in some hare-brained scheme, or found it necessary to offer (or accept) a bribe, Kneehigh was their trump card. Once let loose on a man, she always managed to swing the deal.
And she wasn’t shy at all, was she? In fact, she was proud of the fact that her…favours…could make her so powerful. Coming from a much-deprived childhood where her mother never quite made ends meet, Kneehigh had found it surprisingly easy to get men to fall for her charms – and then she loved the way she made them cringe and beg once they realised what she had done. But by then it was too late. A few explicit photographs and the occasional tape recording sorted these unfortunate men out. They never dared to consider exposing her – the danger was too big. Who would risk his job, his family and his future on stakes this high?
Katie Leggings was a predator in the modern money-jungle, and her bank account was proof of her success.
So the hammer banged down hard on the wooden bench and Kneehigh was led away to prison; allowing the judge one last look at those shapely legs that made her so irresistible.
In jail, Kneehigh soon learnt the ropes. Make the right sounds, say the right things, go through the right actions. The social worker wrote glowing reports. After three years, the question of parole came up. Kneehigh was, by all accounts, the best example of a rehabilitated criminal the prison had ever seen.
By then she had been seeing the prison psychologist for some time. Doctor Rod Stroker was three years her senior, single and apparently dedicated to his job. Slowly, over a period of months, his consultations with her resulted in Kneehigh developing a profound change of heart regarding her previous life. An inscription in her diary says much of Doctor Stroker’s success.
I am so ashamed about the things I had done. To use my personality and my body as a way to deceive unsuspecting men, was completely unacceptable. I realise now how much I owe to Dr Stroker. He is a wonderful man and he’s turned my life around. I shall, once I leave here, devote my life to someone such as he: honourable, respectable, hard-working. How wonderful it would be to share Life with such an astute pillar of society!
Later, in the same diary, there are signs that her relationship with Dr Stroker had advanced even further.
Rod is so good to me. Today he brought two books I have to read. ‘The Dummy’s Guide to Housekeeping’ and ‘Prudent Women Achieve More’. He says I might be considered for parole soon, and that he’d help me afterwards. I’m so grateful! I don’t deserve everything he does for me. He did show me the report he is preparing for the Parole Board. When I think back, I can hardly recognise myself in his notes. Rod is wonderful!
Turning to an even later entry, Kneehigh tells of her joy and future expectations.
Parole! I can’t believe it! Freedom at last! Rod has once again managed a miracle.
First he has changed me into an honest woman, who desperately wants to settle down and live a normal life. I want to worry about a husband and at least two children. I’ll find a job, join a church and establish myself in some charitable organisation. Oh my, I can’t wait!
But then – if that’s not enough, he’s convinced the Parole Board of my rehabilitation. How will I ever be able to thank him for that? I’m so humbled by his dedication… And now, today, he shyly asked me if I would consider moving in with him after my release! How lucky can a girl get? Not only did this gesture of his help to convince the authorities to release me this early, but I’ll have a home, a life, and a man I love.
Gertruida says the wheel of life is round. It’s one of her silly statements the patrons in Boggel’s Place nods at, saying that it’s so true, they all know it. What goes around, comes around and all that. But people say such things without thinking that it’s not just true for other people – in the end we all sow what we reap. Or reap what we sow. Whatever – Life has a strange way of levelling things out.
The problem is that we seldom have the perverted satisfaction of knowing when that wheel turns and then where it rolls to – or who it catches in it’s thorny tracks when the wheel does turn.
That’s why it’s rather stunning to read the last page in the diary Dr Stroker found after she left.
I have to get away! Shock! Horror! Shambles! I cannot believe what’s happening to me!
Dear Rod Stroker is a two-faced psychopath! How could I not see this coming? The quiet, understanding man turned out to be my worst nightmare!
Dear Diary, I should have realised his game when I first set foot in his secluded home outside town. I mean, I had no transport, still was under my parole restrictions, and didn’t see the burglar bars in front of the windows. I was a prisoner once more, only this time I had only one warder. And he, Dear Diary, is a monster! Realisation only started dawning when I discovered the whips, leather clothes and handcuffs in the linen cupboard that first day. I thought I’d clean up a bit, and got the shock of my life. Leather clothes! Whips! Handcuffs! And then those horrible books and despicable videos! Here is a man living out his fantasies…and I…I am helpless to stop him!
Dr Stroker reported her escape, of course, saying that she had had a relapse and was now an even greater menace to society.
What he doesn’t know – cannot know – is that a distant relative met up with her in the Bahamas. Kneehigh was ambling along the beach at the arm of a dashing older man. The two of them were in deep conversation and the relative thought it prudent not to interrupt. The relative also didn’t connect that incident with a newspaper report – a month later – about a Mister Buffet who seems to have lost a few million Dollars in a well-worked scam.
Miss Katie Leggings hasn’t been seen since.