The gates where locked with lengths of chain and padlocks - there was no access through them.
So she had no choice but to backtrack and try to find another way. She turned - and lifted a hand to her mouth to suppress the shriek of alarm as she saw her only way back was blocked by the bulk of Mustafa Aziz, Abdullah, and the waiter from the restaurant. The fat Turk was breathing hard, his shirt stained with sweat, dabbing at his face with his usual grimy handkerchief.
'So, there you are,' he wheezed, and before Sarah could defend herself, the waiter sprung forward and grabbed her around the waist.
'Let me go!' she shrieked, wriggling and struggling against him, but he held her tighter still and pulled her close into his body, and despite her alarm she instantly noticed a lump pressing against her hip. It seemed he was deeply excited by the thrill of the chase and the capture, and his hands crawled over her body in the struggle as he tried to restrain and quieten her, fumbling against her breasts or her thighs or her bottom. He grunted and laughed, his hold tightening, and she knew that any further movement, any spirited fight, would excite him even further.
Once she was eventually still, trapped in the man's arms, panting heavily from the exertions, Mustafa sniggered at her obvious discomfort and distress. 'Cry out all you want, Miss Morgan,' he jeered. 'It will not do you any good here. No one will come to help you.'
Sarah shrieked again, and this time the waiter clamped a hand tightly over her mouth.
Mustafa smiled with lurid satisfaction, and as he dabbed at his lips with the handkerchief, Abdullah moved closer. She had noted the way he watched her during lunch. He clearly saw this as his big chance to get some pleasure out of life for once, and with the slightest of nods from Mustafa, he reached forward, albeit a little warily, as though she might squirm free and bite him at any moment, and began to unbutton her blouse, his fingers trembling against her breasts as he did. Once it was completely undone he licked his lips, eyeing the way the material hung open and the promising shadows within. Sarah, held fast by the strong arms of the waiter, his hot breath panting in her ear, watched Abdullah anxiously, her breasts rising and falling in time with her nervous breathing, causing her blouse to open a little wider each time she inhaled, offering the obnoxious little man a tantalising glimpse of her toned tummy and her shadowy cleavage.
His hands slowly slid inside the gap to seek out the warm contours of her ribcage, cupping her soft breasts. Then, losing all reason he frantically pushed the fabric out of his way and, uttering unintelligible ramblings, clamped his hot wet mouth to her flesh, as if he wanted to eat her alive, pressing oily kisses to her shoulders, her neck, her throat, her breasts, and her nipples. He was babbling away in his native tongue and trembling with lust, and so was his companion, the waiter.
Abdullah slid his hands up under her skirt, his fumbling fingers seeking entry between her thighs, and as he did he cruelly bit on her nipple, make her writhe with pain and squeal into the hand still clamped over her mouth.
Sarah renewed her fight, pulling back from Abdullah, but in doing so pressing herself even harder into the embrace of the waiter. She managed to work one hand free and lashed out at her weasel of a tormentor, but Abdullah merely laughed and, catching her wrist, licked her fingers.
'You know Herr Weissman has such plans for you,' said Mustafa. 'And I understand why, because you are wasted on that arrogant Englishman. I will suggest that he finds a place for you in one of the local stables - there is nothing so attractive as a slave with a spirit.'
His chilling words brought an abrupt halt to Sarah's struggles.
Mustafa laughed when he saw her alarm, and the slime-ball waiter took advantage of the situation to maul her breasts while Abdullah slobbered over their fresh, firm ripeness. And for that moment Sarah was too shocked by Mustafa's words to care what the two slugs were doing.
'Did you not know?' continued the Turk, with a despicable grin of mock innocence on his face.
'Weissman is going to buy you from your precious doctor - or maybe he will barter you for more manuscripts.'
Sarah felt her heart sink. Was there any possibility that what he said was true? If it came to it, she had no idea whether Casswell would choose her over the books and manuscripts he loved so dearly.
Seeing on her lovely face the distress his words had caused, Mustafa's expression returned to one of beaming triumph. He said something to the waiter, who was enjoying himself restraining and molesting her at the same time, his erection grinding against her bottom through her skirt, which made both he and Abdullah laugh.
It was all too much, the three despicable men were all too much, and Sarah began to fight again in earnest. If Casswell could not or would not save her then she had to save herself. Her newfound ferocity took the men by surprise, and the waiter had to quickly tighten his grip to keep hold of her. Sarah knew that unless she was rescued or escaped their vile clutches, all three of them planned to have her.
Abdullah grabbed her legs and, pushing a hand up between her thighs, rucking her skirt up at the same time, tried hard to prise them apart. But Sarah fought like a wildcat, her legs clamped together until Mustafa shouted something and the men, cursing and panting heavily, held off.
But then, responding to a nod from Mustafa, the waiter ushered her to one side and pressed her tight up against one of the iron gates, and with Mustafa's help they strapped her wrists together with a leather belt and then hung her from one of the ornate curls high up in the wrought iron design. Her cheek and breasts pressed uncomfortably against the vertical bars. It was a difficult irony for Sarah to take; bound to something that just minutes earlier she had hoped would be her route of escape. Now the three men were behind her, just visible over her shoulder, and she could not resist as Abdullah slid his sweating hands up the outside of her skirt, lewdly savouring the feel of her bottom as he did, and then unfastened it and tugged it down over her hips, down her shapely legs to the dusty ground, then roughly spreading her legs apart, the tendons standing out in her thighs and calves as she strained on tiptoe.
Then, with no more ado, he crouched behind her and his tongue and fingers licked and explored and took every advantage of her vulnerability, making her cringe. Meanwhile the waiter ripped off her blouse, the fabric cutting into her delicate flesh as it tore away.
Exposed and naked, there was nothing Sarah could do to resist the three of them, and she just knew that Mustafa intended to punish her for running away and for struggling so fiercely.
'You really ought to learn to co-operate, little one,' he said, his voice thick. 'And you should also learn it is in your best interests not to upset me; I am very good friends with Uri Weissman. Very good friends indeed.'
He signalled for the two men to move back, which they did with much reluctance and grumbling, and then he felt between her legs, cupping her sex from behind, making her stiffen and gasp as he slid his thumb up into her. Sarah flinched at the crude violation, and would have spat at the arrogant oaf if she could. She knew Weissman saw Mustafa as little more than a minion, a man to be used and manipulated when it suited him, but the sweaty Turk clearly had gross delusions of grandeur.
'You have to understand who is in control here, Miss Morgan,' he growled in her ear, his breath laden with garlic. 'And trust me, I will teach you. I really will.'
He moved away, his intrusive hand leaving her, and Sarah strained to pick up some clue as to what would happen next, although she had a pretty good idea, and then she tensed as she heard an unmistakable sound, and strained to catch a glimpse from the corner of her eye of the waiter pulling his leather belt from his trouser loops and handing it to Mustafa. Her fat tormentor folded it double in his fist, and then moved out of her sight.
There was a terrible silence, a few seconds deep and dark and full of a cruel promise. Sarah swallowed hard, every sense and nerve braced for the fierce kiss of supple leather...