“Three of The Lady’s four propulsion units are functional. She’s lost a lot of gas, but the main burners are intact and the Lascars reckon they can patch the hot-air chamber. We should just about be able to get airborne and limp to Guernsey for repairs.”
“Good man. Text me when the old girl’s back on form. Boz turned to Phoebles and Ginsbergbear, “pile into the Beemer lads. Beryl, head for the docks. That seems to be where the action is.”
“There’s a group of irregulars approaching from out the bush, miss. They’re making no attempt to conceal themselves.” A shaven headed young nun in lo-vis grey robes hefting a short barrel AK-74 burst into the refectory at La Houghue Bie.
“That’s nice dear,” said the Mother Superior, “I’ll pop up in a moment. Try not to shoot anyone till I get there.” She turned back to Zelda and Augusta. “Sounds like we have visitors, lets go onto the battlements and see who they are.”
Kiki and Consuella, Scarlet and Kitty strode up to the castellated nunnery trying their hardest not to look like an attacking army. And it worked. The famously trigger-happy nuns had allowed them to get close enough to be recognised.
“Kiki dear,” Mother Superior called down to them while the gates were being unbarred, “It would seem that you were right about Les Chats Souterrains. I don’t suppose any of you have heard of some chap called McGoogs?”
“Hwe weel deescuss such matters over lunch. Heye deed not come herre to shout overr hwalls.”
Once ensconced before wholesome bowls of steaming hot gluten free kale soup the resistance fighters began to respond to the nun’s questions. Augusta explained all that the morose Zelda had found out.
“Heye am amazed that hyourr orrderr could be so rremote that hyou have neverr hearrd of Slasherr McGoogs, especially herre on Jerrsey, wherre hees banking exploits have wrreaked such havoc.”
“Slasher’s something of a law unto himself,” explained Kitty Fisher, “not exactly on the side of the angels, but on balance he seems to be a force for good.”
“Unless you’re on the wrong end of one of his schemes,” chipped in Kiki. “Cod knows what he’s involved in with the Yanks.”
Had Kiki but known, Slasher McGoogs was at that very moment handing a Portuguese-Finish dictionary to Lieutenant Harrison Dewey Jr, making inexplicable gestures with his arms and requesting, “Heye hhave leetle Engleesh. Please trrranslate.”
As the Sixth Fleet pursued SMS Pinguin into the South Pacific the US Pacific Fleet joined in the chase and soon had the Hilfskreuzer surrounded. Yet, as they closed the net they found that somehow the privateer commerce raider had slipped away. Now they were aboard the Panamanian registered tramp steamer Kandelfels to enquire of its Dutch skipper Felix van Luckner and its small Filipino crew if they had sighted the Pinguin. It would appear that they had not and, as Lieutenant Dewey was discovering, the steamer’s sole passenger, a Brazilian coffee magnate travelling from Manaus to Salina Cruz in Mexico to be at the deathbed of his only daughter was equally unforthcoming. Some days just did not go well.