They looked down on the little fishing harbour of Bouonne Niet with its cosy cottages lining the quayside and colourful snibbies sheltering behind the harbour wall. They watched the protected cruiser Aurora as she hove to between the headlands of Frémont in the West and La Crête to the East; listened to the distant rattle of her anchor chain and the splash as the hook entered the water. They glanced up at the Queen Anne’s Bounty as she, having dropped off her passengers, picked up speed and powered away to the Northwest.
Wing-Comrade Polly Karpova turned to her shiny crimson two-seater scout on loan from the Pirate King. It had a red painted star on the white painted tail rudder and glistening aluminium drop tanks either side of the fuselage.
“Extra fuel to get you to Yorkshire?” enquired Boz.
“Vodka.” Polly produced a long plastic drinking straw from inside her flying jacket and waved it at the ginger cat. “Coming Beryl? You can have first dibs at driving.”
The pair strode across to where the ornithopter perched in the middle of the local crown bowling green, its diaphanous wings quivering in the gentle onshore breeze. The gang watched Beryl Clutterbuck slip a sugar cube under her tongue.
“Onwards through the rainbow’s arch and hang a left at Pluto,” she announced as they clambered aboard.
“I’m not convinced that lass has been handling the pressure any too well of late,” observed Ginsbergbear.
“Our lift home,” said Slasher McGoogs, pointing to where a rubber inflatable bounded from wave crest to wave crest away from the Aurora and towards the shore.
Chatting excitedly they set off down a steep path and by the time they reached the seashore the jet-black commando style VANGUARD XHD535 twelve-man inflatable was drawn up at the bottom of the hard.
“All aboard the rubber duck,” cried the lone Kronstadt sailor as he looped the painter through a handy mooring ring. The matelot picked up Master Dorje, who was having more difficulty than his companions clambering over the gunnel, and dumped him without ceremony into the craft. With everyone ensconced the sailor skipped aboard and began to elbow his way through the crowd towards his place at the stern.
Cast off, someone, will you.”
The Soviet Neptun-M outboard began to burble and they were on their way, slowly, as the 20hp engine would have been a little underpowered even had it been working efficiently, which it was not, and with rather less freeboard than Phoebles would have liked. The waves lapped along the sides, soaking the hapless heroes’ backsides through to their jockeys.