your move young man……..we haven’t got all day.”
“Why haven’t we got all day, what’s so
important we should be doing?”
“I have just moved Queen’s Knight to King’s
“Yes so you have. You said we haven’t got
all day, why haven’t we got all day?”
“Are you going to make your move?”
“Yes any day now, I have a plan!”
“You have a plan, tell me your plan?”
“Because I once had a plan, a good plan it
was” and there came a faraway look in the Naval Commanders eyes.
“There was a chap who had a small dingy, it
floated in the Free Sea and he sat in it for most of the
morning. It was ridiculous really because the water was far too shallow at one
end for the dingy to be rowed about. So another chap pulled the dingy on a
length of rope. About mid day the two young men became fed up with messing
about in a dingy, and they went for a walk, possibly calling in at the café for
lunch. I sat on a bench in the Piazza wondering if I could not make better use
of the small dingy, when an idea struck me.
A few days later I was clever enough to
obtain a workman’s overall and peaked cap. And one day about mid morning I sat
in the Piazza watching this same chap messing about in the dingy in the Free Sea. After a few minutes I stood up
casually and walked away, making my way back to my cottage. Inside I changed
into the pair of overalls and the peaked cap, then went outside again and made
my way towards the Piazza.”
“And where are you going?” a voice suddenly
demanded to know.
I stopped and turned round.
The man wearing the same coloured pair of
overalls as myself looked me up and down. “Well 42, that’s a nice clean pair of
overalls you’re wearing, how about getting some paint on them. You see that
wall with the arch?”
I looked at the said wall.
The man pointed at the tins of paint and
the ladder at the base of the wall “I want you to paint that wall yellow, and
don’t be all day about it!”
The man turned out to be a foreman from the
Works Department. So what else could I do……I commenced painting the wall.
Besides I needed time to think. I had intended posing as a workman who had been
ordered to take the boat to the maintenance shop on the grounds that the dingy
needed work doing to it. But it was a long way through the village to the beach
without being noticed, and the shortest route was not without its hazards! But
as it worked out I wasn’t to need the dingy.
I had been working on the wall for a couple
of hours when I was approached by two men. One was about 6 feet tall and
dressed in a brown piped blazer. The other was shorter in height, stouter, and
wore a brown and white striped jersey.
“What do you think?” the man in the brown
“Something wrong sir?” I asked.
I thought that a bit of a stupid question
seeing as I was holding a paint brush “Well yes. If it’s not satisfactory…….”
“Ah I’m satisfied, are you?” he said, asking
“”Carry on 42, we’ll be in touch with you.”
The two men walked off leaving me wondering
what it was they wanted. Little did I know
at the time, that I was about earmarked to become involved with a more elaborate
escape plan than my own!
Anyway as it turned out the Works foreman
wasn’t satisfied with my painting of the wall, and so it was when I was
painting the wall again the next day that No.6 approached me with the
recognition password “Tonight at moonset, Rook to Queen’s pawn 6 check.”
As it turned
out the man in the brown piped blazer was No.6 who had come up with a plan to
get a group of reliable men together in order to form an escape group. Mind you
it was No.6 who carried out much of the plan, although No.53 was a large part
of that plan. It was he who stole the surveillance camera, the telephone from
the telephone booth, screwdriver and electric components from the electrics
truck, and who constructed a radio transmitter. Myself, the shopkeeper-No.56,
and another chap were part of the gang to supply muscle should we run into
Basically the escape plan was to transmit a
distress call from an aircraft in trouble which is down in the sea. Then for
No.53 to paddle a raft just offshore transmitting an automatic distress signal
in order to bring rescuers in and that way affect an escape. It was a good
plan, and I bet no-one had thought of it before. While No.53 was at sea
transmitting his distress call, the rest of us went to the Green Dome and tied
No.2 up to prevent him taking action against us.
“What happened then?” the young man asked
eager to know more.
The distress signal stopped! No.6 rushed
off to see what had gone wrong. While he was away No.53 turned up. The thing
was No.6 had avoided selecting guardians as members of the group by detecting
their subconscious arrogance. No.53 applied No.6’s own test to him. When No.6
took command of the escape venture his air of authority convinced No.53 that
No.6 was one of them, and he convinced the rest of us. So we released No.2.
“And you have been here in the village ever
“Well it was worth a try, but if there’s
one thing I have discovered since my arrival here, escape is not possible. I
know that because I’ve tried and tried again. I’ve even had that Number 8 tell
me what not to try. So if I can’t escape no-one can. Oh look you have left your
The young man stood up to leave “Just one
more thing, the number on the badge on your naval cap.”
“I first worked for Naval Intelligence
before moving on to British Intelligence. So when I arrived here they decided
to give me a number deserving of my rank, 007!”