“Sir. It’s Collins and Bacon, Sir.”
“Just there, Sir.”
“Get Bacon’s dry clothes from his pack for him.”
Bacon walked straight up to me and reported, still dripping wet, “Sir. The port is two hundred by one hundred and fifty yards, Sir. There are eight jetties running north to south along the shore, but they’re nearly all bear. Two jetties, side by side, at the north end have eight boats a piece. There are men patrolling the site in pairs. I counted twelve in total, and they’re not your regular ragtags. They’re all switched on; chins up, eyes peeled, Sir. If we come in from the water we stand a chance, but we’ll need to booby trap the walkways and their boat too, it’s a runabout. And it could easily outrun any of the trawlers. The mouth of the port is a good forty yards wide too, Sir. We could get three abreast through it if we had to.”
“Bacon, you’ve done me proud, son,” I smiled. “Put yourself round some food and take a rest.”
Everyone just stared at Bacon. Awe would be an understatement. He had completed a suicidal mission and didn’t make any fuss about it. We were all so fucking proud of our brother. Me most of all!
“Right, that’s you Swanson. Longshot is gonna run you through a few things before you go and then once it’s dark get going. Zero hour is O one hundred.”
“Sir. Yes, SIR.”
As he and Tony walked away Swanson removed an envelope from inside his shirt and handed it to Pretty Boy, who stood up, saluted him and shook his hand. Then – without a word – Swanson turned back to Tony and off they went.
“Right, Gentlemen. This is where we burn our ships. I want everyone to strip down anything from your gear that isn’t food or ammunition. Leave it all right here and tie your packs tight, nothing is to rattle. You have one hour to write your letters and prepare yourselves.”
“SIR. YES, SIR!!”
To be continued…
© Stephen Fahey