'It's a bit early for me sir.'
'Don't be silly' C handed Philby a large glass of malt whisky.
'Er, thank you, sir.'
'As you know we have had some information from your old comrades. What you may not know is..' Before C had finished there was a knock on the office door.
'Ah there you are gentlemen, come in. Kim get these men a drink. I'll introduce you. Ian, of course, you know. As for this gentleman, this is our new OSS liaison officer Captain Hamilton, General Donovan recommended him personally.'
'It was, a number of months ago now, but as this thing with the Reds started it was case of getting us back together, rather than starting again. After all the offices were still there, might as well use them. And you may as well call me Mark, Captain Hamilton is a bit to formal for me.'
'I'm sorry sir. My what?
'You are going to be with us for sometime after all.'
A blank look from Hamilton 'I am, sir?'
'Kim, why don't you sort something out? There are couple of places in the village surely.'
'I should think so sir.'
'Best get on with it then man, I'll write out a chit for you.'
Hamilton asked 'I'm without transport sir, is there a car I can use?'
'We'll sort that out tomorrow. I'll get Captain Perret to drive you both down, hell why don't you all take the afternoon off. Tell the same to Perret.'
'It's a bit unusual sirs, but I'll see what I can do said the landlord of the Hare and Hounds. You lot from the House then?'
'I'll take that as a yes then. Where are you lot then' he said looking at Hamilton 'going to do something then? Hiding away? Bloody late or bloody do nothing you lot! Least the Germans here help out on the farms.'
'Come on let's not have any of that.' said Philby 'He's here, here to help, better one than none. Isn't that right Geoffrey.'
'Don't ask me, I'm just the driver today.' Captain Perret said with a smile.
The landlord turned away. 'Anyhow I'll have to see what the misses says, worse than bloody Hitler, she is well sometimes.'
'No skin off my nose, as long as you pay up.'
He told them the price, for all his bluster it was not as high as they had feared almost what they had thought in fact. Racketeering here, no. He had a lot to learn from some in London.
'I'll get them in' said Captain Perret ordered four pints of bitter. He joined the others at a table in the far conner. Hamilton to his first sip, 'Hey this beer is cool. I'd been told the beer was warm here.'
The Englishmen laughed. 'You. My friend have a lot to learn. We don't drink that fizzy stuff you call beer.' said Fleming
Perret chipped in, 'It's not too bad a pint, even if it's from Wells. I haven't had any type of fizzy stuff since I was in Yugoslavia.'
'Really? I was there too, better then we have at home.' Hamilton took another slip 'Then again, nothing like you have here.'
'You were both in Yugoslavia?' Kim butted in. 'Did you have any contact with Tito by any chance?'
A thought flashed though Fleming mind. There had been reports, however scant, the there could be some fighting there. More than that he didn't know. The fighter formally supported by Britain or those forces under Tito? In any case that was something to keep an eye on.
He made his excuses 'Just going to stretch my legs, been sitting behind a desk all night. Might as well see if the chipy's open. Back in a bit.'
It was most likely the best thing Perret could do, though Fleming, he wouldn't want to have those memories. He'd been in sticky situations himself but not for two years fighting with a man who had shot his friends.
He pushed that out of his mind, it was something he didn't want to think about it any longer. Stick to the job in hand. They had got Philby's attention, the first part anyway. That was why they were here after all. He had nibbled at the bait, will he bite the hook?
Let the line run out, then reel him in.
Was it was two o'clock already. 'Don't worry I'll take care of this.' said Kim, as he stood up and walked to the bar.
'So what do you think?' asked Hamilton.
'I'm not too sure, Stirling. We shouldn't over play our hand.' replied Fleming.
Kim returned to the table.
'Well, what did he say?' asked Fleming, looking up.
'I talked him into it, had to flash my card. I suppose he thinks we're on a jolly. As long as we are on the piss and paying he doesn’t mind. All he said ''no trouble when the RAF boys get here and if the local constable comes in make sure you get him one in”.
At around 7.30 the RAF boys did come in, Hayden was drunk and Philby was not far behind. Fleming was taking it as easy as he could. He had to seem like he was having as much as the others. He had switched to shandy's at about 16.00 hours, and Perret had been ordered on to ginger beer.
After being joined by some officers from the nearby station, Hamilton and Philby were doing their best to keep up with each other and both failing.
Perret, with some help got Hayden to bed. With more help Philby was poured into the car and driven back to the house. He then enlisted some men, he turned to Fleming.'What should we do with Kim, sir?'
'Try to get him to drink some coffee or if he still wants another drink give him one, I'll put the stuff in. We don't want him waking up too soon do we, then take him down.'
God he wished he hadn't got one.
Without even opening his eyes he was back asleep.
Again, awake, ''Information from your comrades.'' Where had that thought come from? He tried to think back. Going to a pub? Yes, the Hare and Hounds. With? He thought harder. Yes Ian, Geoffrey and that American chap, what was his name?'
He was dozed off again.
'Wakey wakey Stanley.' Came a voice.
Stanley? He knew that name. from where?
'Wakey wakey.' he heard again.
He opened his eyes properly for the first time, he was looking at an off white celling.
'Bollocks! Get the bucket.' said the voice. The next thing Philby knew he was drowned in cold water. 'Shall I slap him about a few times sir?'
'No. No, not yet anyway.' said C 'You may as well leave us for a while, I really don't want to hurt him, if I can help it. Slowly, slowly catchy monkey as they say.'
C waited until they was alone.
'They gave you up you know? Of course they didn't have much choice, you know how it is, better that way. They will live at least, maybe. Now how about you? I'll let you sleep, how about that? Yes, sleep on it. I'll see you later.'
'You'll be lucky, “Stanley”. I should shoot you now, you know I can and no one would bat an eyelid. But you may still be of use. You never know, do you?'
C turned to leave, 'One last thing thing, before I go. You know they tried to kill Anthony don't you?'
A blank look from Philby.
'I thought not. You'll be next if they find out we have you.'
'What do you mean? Tried to kill Tony?'
'Ian was there, I'd ask him for the details if I were you, if you get the chance that is.'
'Can we make a deal?'
'You want a deal? What makes you think we even care about you, as I said I could just shot you here and now. However as our American cousins say “You can play ball with us” or.
Well. You know. Lets leave it at that shall we? Get some sleep, get your energy up. You'll need it later.'
It must have been about seven in the evening, thought Philby, when he was brought up to C's office. He didn't think that they would tie him to a chair, well not at first, but you never knew did you. The deal he was offered was unexpected, to say the least. Anyway there was no use in trying to deny things, they had the lot.
They had turned him, for good or ill.
'A question, if I may?'
'Go ahead, I'm listening.'
'What has happened to the others?'
'Do you really think I am going to answer that? But after all they are your friends, and you are loyal to them, not your country, but them. They are safe.'
Philby was taken back to his cell.