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 On His Majesty's Service

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Hilly KCMG
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PostSubject: On His Majesty's Service   Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:28 am

I'll try to be brief with this preamble for God knows what. On the old MI6 forum I unleashed a series that featured our man Bond in various adventures set in WWII from 1940 to 1945. The idea came when I considered as I did years before about Fleming's Bond in WWII. There are snippets in the novels that link Bond into WWII but no cemented action is mentioned really.
I assumed Bond would've had a fairly hectic life in the war rather than perhaps the one Fleming had (he had adventure but seemed to more behind the scenes than I imagined Bond to be). I took certain licences but tried to keep Bond within a Fleming timeframe. In CR he brought his Bentley in 1933 so I'm assuming he was by 1939 in his early thirties perhaps or an age thereabouts where a three-braid rank (Commander) would seem realistic.
In the beginning (On His Majesty's Service) Bond was quite confident but prone to anxiety, fear in the face of death. By the end (Where Angels Fear) he is closer to the Bond in CR. Apart from Bond no one else from the 'universe' really appears. Sir Miles only at the end when Bond is recruited by the SIS otherwise Bond's 'M' is Admiral Charles Hardy in charge of the Operational Intelligence Centre (the Navy's intelligence section).

old Bong on MI6 did this at a time before the series got going. God it was popular. Were I not so prone to self-depracating style and embarassament I'd revel.



the series was:

On His Majesty's Service
1940. Set against Dunkirk

The Devil's Crusaders
1940 again. Set against the night of the so-called 'Second Great Fire of London' December 29, 1940.

The Lasting Storm
1941. Bond must destroy an U-Boat base to make some dent in the Wolf Pack campaign

Above All, Courage
1942-43. Bond must break into a PoW camp to break a fellow agent out. No normal camp of course.

Where Angels Fear
1945. Bond breaks into Germany. With the Russians closing in Bond has to destroy a missile. Nothing goes to plan and soon Bond is caught up in the Battle of Berlin. It goes on postwar up to 1948 and SIS.

there were short stories but these made little difference. What turned things on its head was The Evil that Men Do which was WWII Bond but where Germany invaded Britain and Bond becomes part of the resistance.


Last edited by Hilly KCMG on Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:15 am; edited 4 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: On His Majesty's Service   Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:43 pm

This is nice.
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PostSubject: Re: On His Majesty's Service   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:15 am

We'll kick out the 'PTS'. I'm more or less overhauling the original OHMS in that certain parts don't feel up to scratch. For one, the PTS was never there it was simply Bond coming to London.

---

it's not required to picture James Mason naturally. I always like to imagine actors in 'roles' and even then tend to picture someone else. As I'd imagine the films to be done in the 50's maybe Gregory Peck, maybe Niven maybe even a hideously young Plummer (that's the far out option).
Who was certain is James Robertson Justice who funnily enough worked with Ian Fleming at Reuters in the late 20's early 30's.

---

Around fifteen miles to Dunkirk, France
May 26, 1940


“Schnell, into the barn!”
The barn was full of the dead and barely living. Around eighty men in British Khaki lying atop the other most bloody, most pale beyond whiteness. Sunlight trickled into the barn via the cracks, in this sunlight dust hung in the air. The four men in navy blue, themselves bruised and bloody, paused at the entrance as they had done before. This time they were pushed into the barn by the SS soldiers prodded by schmeisser’s or fists. A small patch of ground remained near the entrance of the barn yet stained as it was by the blood of the dead soldiers it did not appeal to the navy men who now were in.
Jennifer, the French girl who had aided the escape so far, screamed as she was picked bodily off the ground and hauled towards the Bedford lorry still rattling from its bruising journey north.
Chief Petty Officer Max Harrison was the first to resist what was planned for the four. He roared and turned clouting his captor over the head. As his captor went back another came in and beat Harrison down to his knees. The large Harrison stayed on his knees slowly putting his arms behind his back. Able Seaman Walter Clint increased his nervous shiver. Commander Patrick Adams began to murmur a prayer and yet it was the fourth men who did nothing. It was not quite true of course.
Commander James Bond Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve calmly fell to his knees facing the dead soldiers. He put his hands behind his head elbows bowed as if he was about to massage his hair. He swallowed hard contemplating the fate that awaited him. Bond was as yet untried, quite human in thoughts and feelings if quietly determined in his duty. Thoughts flashed through his mind of Eton, of Cambridge, of the many loves he had, of his first day on his first shipboard posting when he vomited on the captain during a storm, anything to detach himself from the fact that he was deep down very afraid.
“Calm down Clint,” he whispered out of the corner of his mouth as behind them the SS took position. He barely heard Clint’s response as he heard a luger click with a fresh magazine loaded. Bond felt the muzzle press against the nape of his neck sliding a little on the slick sweat trickling there. He tried to think of the men trapped at Dunkirk that had been unknowingly relying on Bond and his men to hold up the Germans. He tried to think of the people with him now who had looked to him and not of his impending fate. Not yet had he faced a no-win situation. There had been tight scrapes before but he was still untried, untested by and large. He was still a commander in the so-called Wavy Navy.
“Goodbye, Herr Commander Bond,” said the SS Major holding the Luger. The same SS Major who hours before had organised the massacre of the soldiers in the barn.
“Au revoir,” chimed the traitor Jean-Luc from the barn’s entrance almost mockingly. Bond felt his jaw clench as he recounted all that led to this moment.

"On His Majesty's Service"
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PostSubject: Re: On His Majesty's Service   Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:02 pm

One
The Admiralty, London
May 20, 1940


Not many descended onto the platform of Trafalgar Square Underground Station from the Bakerloo though a few got on. One of those getting off dusted a little at his navy uniform as he followed the exit signs. He pushed his way soon up the spiral staircase that led out onto the square itself close to Admiralty Arch.
Commander James Bond RNVR crossed the top of the Mall by the Arch then under that great structure all the while his mind on where he was going. His assignment in Portsmouth had been going largely nowhere with rumours of a shipboard posting coming when a summons to London had been sent. As an officer in the Wavy Navy Bond could expect little favours really unless the war went any further than it had already. After months of the ‘Bore War’ Germany invaded Norway and Denmark then France a few days ago. Already the situation in France was against the allies there who were almost in full retreat.
Entering via the old Admiralty entrance he took off his cap at the desk. Around him the place echoed to the footfall of dozens of uniformed personnel –some wore Army green oddly enough. The receptionist was a bright-eyed brunette wren who smiled sweetly up at him.
“Yes sir?”
“Commander Bond, I’m here to see Admiral Hardy.”
She picked up a phone ringing a single number. “Hello? Yes, it’s Fairfax here. Bond for the old man.”
Bond watched slightly amused until she crashed the receiver down. “Someone’s coming up for you, sir.”
“Not you then?”
She blushed a little. “I’m just the receptionist, sir.”
“Shame, frightful waste of talent.”
Bond thanked her and turned drumming his fingers on the desktop. From the crowd emerged a commander like Bond who had fair hair and a somewhat confident air about him. He extended a hand at Bond.
“Commander Patrick Adams, I’m to take you to Admiral Hardy.”
“Bond, James Bond,” Bond murmured. Already there was something about this Adams he did not quite like. Just the sheer air of the man. Something false…something…bad.
They took a cramped lift down into the depths of the Admiralty. The lift so small that Bond felt like a marriage proposal was in order. Still, it was a short journey that left them at the real gem of the Admiralty- the Operational Centre. It was home in part to the Operational Intelligence Centre (OIC) or the navy’s intelligence wing. From down here the navy’s efforts were directed. On a far wall a large floor to ceiling wall chart showed the Atlantic from Newfoundland to the UK and France. Adjacent to that a chart with columns each with a ships name, next to that six ratings and wrens working telegraphs and Morse machines. In the middle of the room was a plot table at the moment dressed up to show the northern French coastline. The whole affair was like a ship yet not.
“He’s this way,” Adams said leading Bond to a row of offices off to the side. After knocking on a door simply marked ADM C. HARDY DSO RN Adams led Bond in. Bond saluted the man standing behind his desk.
“Oh sit down, Bond. We’re not fully on ceremony just yet,” said Admiral Charles Hardy gruffly waving Bond down. “You may smoke if you wish. Adams leave us.”
Adams seemed somewhat disappointed as he left. Bond took out a slim case lifting out a fine cigarette. Hardy nodded. “Custom?”
“Morlands, Grosvenor Street.”
“Indeed,” Hardy in return lit a pipe puffing on it for a moment. He was a somewhat rotund man with a thick beard, slightly rosy cheeks and determined glint to his blue eyes. Hardy’s legend was manifest in the Royal Navy. In the last war he had twice rammed U-Boats with his flimsy Q-Boat earning commendations in dispatches except he would never be awarded fully for his work owing to the nature of Q-Boats. After the war he went with the British team to Archangel to help the Mensheviks in the Russian Civil War where he honed some skills that would soon be used if Germany crossed the channel. In the interwar period he was on the side of Churchill and did his best before being cashiered for rearmament. Come Churchill’s reinstatement in 1939 as First Sea Lord came Hardy’s return to work. The saying was that so long as there was a Hardy under Churchill there would be nothing wrong.
“I’ve read about you Bond as you might well have imagined.”
That’s never a good start, Bond thought dryly. “Oh, sir?”
“Oh indeed!” Hardy lifted a folder that seemed a good few inches thick. “The troubles at Eton, at Cambridge and then Dartmouth.” He opened the folder seemingly at random the smoke doubling from his pipe. “In your first week at Dartmouth you succeeded in knocking out a military policeman after a drunken return with shipmates in Plymouth. By the end of your year you were noted as a slight troublemaker.”
“Nothing that cadets haven’t done before, sir,” Bond said defensively. “I fail to see how this is all relevant for me to come up from Portsmouth…”
“You showed a demonstrative flair for ingenuity in difficult situations. In your second year when the cadet ship you were on ran aground off the Isles of Scilly you successfully organised a pump where there was none beforehand to keep the ship afloat until help arrived. Other such moments came after graduating when based aboard HMS Tiger. You were there when Jewish refugees tried rushing the ship at Hamburg.”
Bond remembered it. He was the junior most officer onboard and tasked with the security detail at the end of the landing plank as was natural whenever ship was in port. It was three years ago when the campaign against the Jews was starting in earnest. About a hundred turned up at the Tiger’s berth and tried to rush Bond and his two men. Bond was knocked back, lifting a pistol he fired into the air. This only served to summon the city’s police and local SS.
“I…well, that was different sir.”
“Damned near kicked off the war then,” Hardy said then murmured almost sympathetically. “You then watched as the SS proceeded to lay into the refugees under pretence of arrest.”
“I…”
“Two hours later they were still there under police guard until a lorry could come for them. It was dark, the ship’s log reports that Tiger took on several civilians noting that ‘police were distracted by ruckus on land’. Cut a story short, HMS Tiger offloaded one hundred and three German Jews at Portsmouth the next day. We should be fortunate that Captain Prestwick was commanding. He wrote highly of you Bond.” Hardy closed the folder removing his pipe for a moment. “The situation in France is deteriorating fast. We’re looking at the complete collapse of the British Expeditionary Force and French Armies. The BEF is more or less in headlong retreat to the channel ports –namely Calais and Dunkirk- and there’s an order, Operation Dynamo. It’s the complete evacuation of the BEF using whatever we can get our hands on.”
“It’s that bad, sir?”
“Worse. Hitler’s caught us napping. But then it all started with Munich I suppose or even the Rhineland in ’36,” Hardy shook his head. “It’s not important now. I want you to go into France with a small team. Your aim is simple: hold the Germans up long enough for the BEF to be evacuated. A few days would help, the weather’s good.”
“Hold up the Germans?” Bond laughed. “Sir…”
“I know you’ve not done this work before but first time for everything,” Hardy tossed over a manila folder. “Here, this has the relevant details. Your team and landing zone. Village called Mint. Intelligence suggests based on recent movements that the Germans will come past the village. Bridges are in the area…”
Bond stood a little numbly.
“Good luck Bond.”
“Thanks sir, but I don’t need luck,” Bond managed a smile then saluted. As he left the office he saw Adams waiting. “I take it you’re with me, Adams?”
“That I am old chap, can’t wait to give it to Jerry.”
Bond shook his head. “I’m sure Jerry’s just waiting for it. Come on, let’s go.”
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PostSubject: Re: On His Majesty's Service   Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:26 am

TWO
Rochester, Kent
2200hrs, May 20


The RAF airfield down by Rochester close to the Thames estuary was lightly populated with a couple of aircraft in evidence. One of these was an Aero Oxford –a small transport plane suitable for the short hop across the channel.
Bond jumped out of the back of the Bedford that had driven steadily out from London onto the apron of the airfield holding the tarpaulin cover back for his team. Out first was Able Seaman Mark Harrison –a hulk of a man at least six feet tall with broad shoulders and thick arms, a rough look to him he was the explosives man. Able Seaman (2) Walter Clint a wiry thin man with a nervous air about him that was also explosives trained but jack of all trade. Bond had noted in Clint’s file he had yet to see any action whereas Harrison had been in Spain helping partisans as well as fighting at Norway. That left Able Seaman (2) Fred ‘Max’ Maxwell the wireless operator, average height with a semi-permanent grin on his plain features. And of course Patrick Adams. Bond watched Adams lead the others to the waiting Oxford. His file was light for it seemed Adams was a career officer who joined just before the outbreak of war and managed to secure two quick promotions by January 1940.
The Oxford’s two man crew were lounging by the open cockpit door both wore moustaches though the pilots was a beast of one. The pilot straightened a cigarette in one hand dripped ash.
“Bond?”
Bond sidled past Adams nodding. “Pilot Officer Woode?”
“That’s the chap,” Woode saluted then held his free hand out. “Should warn you chaps that this is going to be a bumpy ride. Jerry’s just about at the Channel south of Calais and the Luftwaffe have been making mincemeat of our boys.”
“Oh, the RAF’s over there?” remarked Adams drily. It was a faint dig at growing comments over the RAF’s capability and indeed, presence, over France.
“They’re there old chap don’t you worry,” Woode said sharply then stood back. “Up you all go. We need to be over the drop zone by midnight.”
Bond and his men lumbered their gear onto the craft then they were off. Blacked out Britain was soon lost below them as the Oxford gained altitude. Bond was sat next to Harrison who sat ramrod straight. “So, Harrison, is it true that you went to Spain for the action rather than anything political?”
Harrison’s response was initially a short laugh then he said in his deep voice. “In a way but I quickly saw that there was good to be done. I’m no Bolshie sir, it’s just I don’t like the little man trod on by the other little man if you see what I mean.”
“I believe I do.”
“Franco being short.”
Bond nodded then laughed. “I do indeed.” He became serious. “This mission might go right against us. The Germans are moving quicker than even they expected. This place Mint lies on the way to Dunkirk, I suspect Dunkirk is our last staging post.”
“You can expect the best of these men, sir. I know Max, we trained at Pompey together. Clint I don’t know but he’ll do his best sir.”
“Right.”
“Ever seen action yourself, sir?”
Bond looked up at Harrison then to his window showing the scudding clouds. “Of a kind, Harrison.”

**

Jumping out of the Oxford was easier said than done. Pilot Officer Woode waited until the team were bagged up with their gear and for the hatch to open at the rear before tilting the Oxford onto its port side. Woode’s co-pilot had braced himself at the back of the aircraft yelling: “Go! Go! Go!”
Bond went first tumbling into the dark void head first before he managed to right himself and pull his cord. Above him he faintly made out more chutes blossom before he directed attention to landing. Lights twinkled out east and he strongly suspected them either to be German towns or the advancing German tanks. He hit the ground hard missing a copse of trees by yards. Harrison was not so lucky thudding through the canopy of the trees before getting stuck a few feet off the floor. Bond went to go help him using a bayonet to cut the chords of Harrison’s chute. The giant man hit the deck somewhat gracefully for a man of his size then checked Bond over. “You alright, sir?”
“Never better. Get the gear together, I’ll find the others and bury the chutes.”
It took half an hour to find Clint, Maxwell and Adams who had all landed near a small river. Together they buried the chutes and rejoined Harrison. Then they advanced as one clad in their dark clothing northwest to Mint.

THREE
Mint, Northwest France
Early May 21, 1940


Bond preferred the Cote d’Azur to this part of France although they were a few miles up coast from Royale-les-Eaux which had seen him win some wagers pre-war. He imagined Casino Royale had been shelled in the German advance on the town. Mint looked devoid of life with not much going for it in Northwest France. It looked faintly like an English village with undeniably Gallic touches to underscore its Frenchness.
Bond led his team up the edge of the main road in the pre-dawn darkness. Briefly in the rear they could hear the crackle of small-arms fire. Bond chose to ignore it for it was likely a German with an itchy trigger finger. They passed a road sign peppered with mud that declared –MINT, POPULATION 400. The town itself was quiet.
“I think we came in the off-season period,” Bond remarked to Harrison. The tall Able Seaman made a chuckle and nodded into the village.
“Do we find a billet sir or hide in the woods? As long as we stop the advance long enough.”
“I know…I think we could find allies here but we need to watch ourselves.”
“Billet is much more preferable,” Adams drawled in his impeccably smug voice. Adams’ eyes dropped to the wavy stripes on Bond’s arm then to his cobalt blue eyes. “Unless you have a better idea, Bond.”
They said of the RNVR that they were the Wavy Navy and that it stood for Really Never Very Reliable. Men like Adams frowned upon the RNVR. One day the attitude would change when the RNVR/RNR became the staid backbone of the RN but not now. Bond scowled and turned into the darkness. They trooped up to a building marked as a post office and went inside quite simply. Bond looked about at the darkened counter then saw a door off to one side. “Harrison with me, the rest of you set-up. We hit the road in a few hours.”
Bond and Harrison crept upstairs the latter holding in one hand his bayonet. They walked onto a spacious landing with three doors off ahead of them and one to the side. As Bond reached for one handle hands lashed over his face then dropped to his neck holding him tightly. Bond felt his throat constrict as a voice whispered harshly in French.
“What are you doing in my home!?”
“Visiting,” Bond grunted trying to reach for his gun. He then heard Harrison’s voice float in the darkness somewhere behind him.
“Oh no you don’t my beauty, now drop your hands and stand still!”
The hands released Bond and he turned to see Harrison pointing his bayonet into the ribs of the assailant. A dark, swarthy looking Frenchman unshaven and with bright blue eyes. He wore pyjamas that had seen better days.
“Monsieur Postman,” Bond said drawing his Browning and thumbing the safety off. “Mind telling me your name?”
“Jean-Luc. Who are you? What do you want?”
“My dear chap we’re British,” Bond said. The door to Bond’s left opened and a light shone out. As his eyes adjusted Bond made out a young woman with dark hair. Jean-Luc told her in French to close the door but Bond invited her out. “We’re on your side. We’re here to fight the Germans, Le Boche, not you.”
“You can’t win, they say on the radio the British are in retreat!”
“Whose radio?” Bond said quietly.
“The Germans, we get their signal better now.”
Bond nodded to Harrison who put away his bayonet, Jean-Luc gave him a foul look. “Jean-Luc, the Germans are liars. I wouldn’t trust a country whose leader looks like a rabid Charlie Chaplin.”
Bond did not catch Jean-Luc’s expression as he turned to the girl. “We won’t be staying long but do you have anything to drink?”
Harrison gave Bond a look. “Sir?”
“An army can’t march on an empty stomach, Harrison.”
“Aye sir.”
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PostSubject: Re: On His Majesty's Service   Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:15 am

FOUR
Outside Mint, May 21 1940


Lieutenant-Commander Bond trekked out into the fields early that morning. Taking Harrison with him the officer began to scout locations to try and hold up the German advance.
“Seems the best place is this road coming into the town,” Harrison said as the two stood close to a hedgerow lined road. Ahead, south, was a thick copse of trees near where they had landed during the night. Out of the trees came the road and the road more or less led to Dunkirk. Bond had a pair of binoculars which he lifted to his eyes and scanned the trees. “We landed about a mile over. The Germans will come here you think.”
“Through this way for sure, sir. I’d expect the woodland to stretch for a few miles. They could get panzers through I suppose but it’d be a stretch.”
For the next hour as the dawn broke upon Mint and Northern France the two Royal Navy men walked a square mile attempting to find any way of stopping the Germans. During this hour the thudding of artillery resumed out to the east. So far the German advance had indeed been lightning quick though resupply problems had hindered some of its speed. Returning to Mint Bond and Harrison found Maxwell in the post office with his wireless set on the counter.
“Little Lamb to Mary, Little Lamb to Mary come in.”
“You’re joking,” Bond said.
“Callsigns given by the OIC,” Maxwell broke off to explain quite sheepishly. Off to one side the other RN members were with the man Jean-Luc. The Frenchman still quite distressed it appeared to have the British here.
“Little Lamb to…”
Mary to Little Lamb, your signal reads five by five, over,” the voice on the other end, likely in the OIC’s bunker sounded crisp.
“Landed and have set up shop, over.”
Acknowledged. Shepard reminds you of your timeframe. Wolf expected your area in twelve hours.”
“Christ,” Bond muttered. He checked his watch then looked to Harrison who was as grim-faced as Bond felt. “If Jerry gets here in that time we might not be able to get out.”
“You mean get in the bag, sir?” asked Clint weakly.
“You could say that.” Bond did not fancy the idea of being captured on his first assignment for NID. Not quite the auspicious start to his naval career in earnest that he had sought after joining the RNVR. Bond was young to earn his half-stripe but then many in this war were in their mid to late twenties with great rank upon them. He recalled in navy training clambering up nets on the side of the old pre-WWI schooner having done an exercise and the commanding officer shouting: “This’ll teach you Bond, that smartarsing gets you nowhere fast.”
So that was why he was in deepest France. Well, not quite but it was close enough. The radio was put away as Bond went outside once again. Clad in his black gear with all these civilians around he felt quite silly but not as silly as it might have been. Stories abounded long for now of servicemen dressing up in French clothing to escape Germans once they had bailed out of planes.
“You English attract trouble wherever you go.”
Bond turned to see Jean-Luc in the shadows of the neighbouring bakery’s door.
“You ought to be careful of hiding in shadows, Monsieur, lest you get shot.”
“The Boche will be here soon.”
“Soon, tomorrow or the day after I’d expect. Then onto Dunkirk.”
“You cannot hope to stop them. You and your men are not nearly enough.”
“We’re enough to slow them down,” Bond nodded grimly. “Ye of little faith.”
A woman left the bakery starting when she saw Jean-Luc then saw Bond and managed a nervous smile. She was tall with long black hair and lightly tanned skin, bright blue eyes and long legs. She wore casual trousers and a polo-neck top as if out for a drive.
“You’re the Englishman.”
More of a statement than an accusation. “Yes. Though I’m more of everything than an Englishman.”
“Leave him, Jennifer,” said Jean-Luc with more than a hint of disgust. He moved away from the doorway putting his hands into the pockets of his trousers. “He is as bad as the Germans.”
“The Germans are the one tearing your country up right now,” Bond said. Though we’re retreating quicker than they’re advancing it seems. “I’m Bond, James Bond with the…with the British Expeditionary Force. We’re here to hold the Germans up long enough…”
“…for the British to escape,” Jennifer finished.
“Something like that,” Bond mumbled. He turned to go but paused long enough to add, “If you think we’re all that bad than I suggest you get your townsfolk out of Mint. The town has less than forty-eight hours before the Germans arrive.”
Bond went back into the post office to where Maxwell was still with headphones on. Adams was looking agitated off to one side, scowling at Bond. Bond ignored him. “Anything Maxwell?”
“Getting a lot of German chatter, sir. Something about tank movements,” Maxwell slipped his headphones off resting them on his shoulders glancing up at Bond. “Sir, they cited an attack on a French village tomorrow morning.”
“Could be anywhere,” Adams snapped.
“Or here, most likely,” Bond muttered. “Harrison, how far do you think?”
“No more than twenty miles, sir. If they’re thinking of attacking the village by morning.”
“We go out tonight. Get a car and go as far as we can.”
“Good job with this French lot,” Harrison said gesturing to the people outside. Some were lingering on the street.
“Don’t be such a sceptic,” Bond walked to the doorway looking up and down the street. He glanced back inside. “Max, send to OIC that we’re to go into action tonight. No further communiques until after that. Adams, you’ll hold the fort whilst Clint, Harrison and I go out. Clear?”
Adams nodded. “Clear.”
“Good.”
Until midnight then.
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