Vinnie and Ken sped off into the night on the stolen RHPG motorbike motorbike and left Kendal. Dumping they bike over a dry stone wall by their rendezvous point at the River Sprint they settled down to wait for their comrades. Ken had acquired the Mle 1909 Hotchkiss LMG from the motorbike sidecar and drew a bead on the roadside.
Meanwhile the leg injured Tom and still hale Dick considered their options after their execution of leading officers of the Kendal Garrison. Tom heard approaching troops no doubt alerted by the officer who escaped the massacre. The ALFIES agents fled Tom leaving a grenade as a parting gift as suppressive fire raked the mess hall.
The Agent heard a squeal of breaks and saw truck lamps through the frosted glass of their exit. Rifle fire came crashing through the door and caught Dick in the knee. As he contorted in agony, Tom manfully dragged him into cover. With the sound of hobnailed boot running through the mess hall it looked like the end for our two heroes.
Then came a fresh squeal of breaks and the rapport of rapid pistol fire. A blunt Scouse accent cried – ‘Get out if ya wanna live!’ Tom dragged Dick out and was faced with a car having ran over a number of Tommys and pistol packing working class men shooting it out with the Territorials who had been on the back of the truck.
The car sped off driven by the owner of the blunt tones – Percy Thomas http://alfiesantics.wordpress.com/a-l-f-i-e-s-agents/rogue-agents/ unbeknownst to these agents the ALFIES deserter who murdered Ernst Hemmingway who appears to have been fighting his own private war in Kendal.
Two Army trucks followed in pursuit with rifle squads on board and Lewis guns mounted on the truck cabs. Tom returned their fire with his BAR. Squealing and screeching through the streets, machine guns bursting Percy eventually smashed the side of the vehicle against the wall – dislocating Tom’s shoulder causing him to drop the BAR. Percy overcompensated and crashed the car – fortunately close to the River Sprint rendezvous. The Kendal troops and the past and present ALFIES agents spilled out and made for the meeting point.
Ken gave covering fire from the Hotchkiss, while Vinnie waited in cover to deliver cross fire from his Tommy. Percy ended up throwing Dick over his shoulders while they stumbled for cover. The Terriers tried to close but where beaten back by the Hotchkiss and Vinnie’s Tommy gun and so hunkered down and sent runners for reinforcements.
Percy was recognised by Ken, despite his beard, who covered him with the Hotchkiss as they made cautious greetings. Ken was there when Hemmingway was murdered: http://alfiesantics.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/operation-daddy-long-legs/
After some frosty small talk the two agents conspire that Ken will only know of a ‘Rodger’ leading Kendal Liberation Front and Ken has told Rodger what ALFIES know of the Hemmingway incident.(Mainly because Ken fabricated it.) Percy and his locals make off and the ALFIES agents head for Ambleside.
With two agent heavily injured crossing Lakeland mountains across the bitter night proved hard. When dawn broke only a couple of token miles had been passed. Finding a hollow the agents bedded town – Tom falling ill and only making it through the day through Dick sharing his body warmth. There followed two more nights of painful and paltry marching and shivering scared day time hiding.
Approaching Ambleside they saw 2 Hadley Page Heyfords fly over Ambleside and despite the agents initial fears drop leaflets threatening the village with bombing in 36 hours if it doesn’t surrender the Liverpool agents.
The agents consider their options but decide to return to Ambleside not wishing to abandon it after all their efforts. They propose to sneak into the Town, recover a little and then report to the town elders about their successes and propose the village is evacuated during the RAF raid.
They snuck in their separate pairs – even the sorely wounded Tom and Dick managed to evade the amateur Ambleside Defence Force and headed for their lodgings. Entering they made for their room only to be greated by a smartly dressed seated man with an automatic pistol levelled at them. Their captor has no time for banter. Tom shivers on the bed while Dick is closely watched. Eventually, Tom tries their luck and blazes away catching the BUF agent in the shoulder. The Government man lets rip at Dick and with 3 rapid rounds sends the Yorkshire toned policeman sprawling. Toms delirious fire eventually downs the G-man but Dick is done for. Tom collapses off the bed and on his knees cries “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!’
Hastening their pace after hearing shots Vinnie and Ken arrive but before they can fulling appraise the situation more agents approach – Vinnie uses his Tommy gun at spitting distance to take out the lead Fascist in a hail of bullets the third and final enemy agent thinks better of it and surrenders. In the midst of interrogating him local Ambleside bobby PC Browse arrives with ADF members.
Browse knows the men they have claimed to be smugglers from Whitehaven offering to help with the supply problems. ALFIES searches have revealed they are BUF Special Service agents, uncovering their Warrant cards amid their sundry false papers.
A man down and a man wounded. Half starved, half frozen and facing immanent air raid – what will be next for Operation Earwig?
Well it’ll be a few months before we fnd out – why? Because next time we’re off to deal with some unfinished business from Operation Cricket and see some other ALFIES agents retrieve GOPHERS child in OPERATION FLEA.