Jack and I struggled to our feet. We now saw that there were several soldiers, and we were completely surrounded. Resistance would be futile and probably painful. My antagonist pointed to the still-sleeping girl, and noticing her injury, indicated that Jack and I should carry her and follow them. We trudged wearily along with them, and we took turns in carrying her. She wasn’t heavy, but the undergrowth made it hard-going, and these guys had no intention of making any stops.
After about an hours marching this way we finally reached their camp. It didn’t look too bad at all. Everything was orderly,and there even appeared to be a kitchen of sorts. They had obviously been here for some time because there was an air of residence about the place. My thoughts of being housed in one of the large tents were soon dashed when our captors led us to a hole in the ground, above which was a raise-able bamboo cover. He motioned us to get down in there. It was about five feet deep, and by one passing the girl down to the other we were able to eventually all descend into it. Not exactly home-from-home, but at least it was dry and fairly clean. There was no form of sleeping equipment, so presumably we were expected to sleep on the earth.
Jack and I sat looking miserably at one another. The girl was still sleeping, which was some form of blessing. She had at least escaped the terror of finding herself awakened by armed soldiers.
" This is a bloody fine mess we have gotten ourselves into Mate, said Jack. What do you think they’re going to do with us?"
" I’ve no idea, but it won’t be anything nice ," was my reply.
The girl suddenly opened her eyes and asked, " Where are we, and what’s happening?"
She was remarkably calm, and didn’t even mention her leg.Presumably her hostess training had taught her to remain calm under stressful situations. Quietly I told her what had happened and about the position in which we found ourselves. She made no comment and just sat back and closed her eyes once more. Her intelligence shone through when she said, " This is probably a relief base of some sort, and the soldiers are resting here. There is obviously some form of look-out post nearer the beach where they can observe the comings and goings of any enemy vessels or planes. This doesn’t appear to be an island, merely the headland of some place, so if we can get free we may be able to escape. We need to familiarise ourselves with their routine and then try to formulate some kind of escape plan.“Bloody hell, we’re in the company of some Modesty Blaise kind of dame here,” exclaimed Jack.
" Shut up Jack, at least she has more ideas than we have," I angrily replied.
" OK mate, keep your hair on. It was only a joke."
We were hushed into silence by the approaching foot-steps. It was one of the soldiers. He raised the bamboo cover and handed down three plates of food, then closed the cover again. The food was good, and we all ate hungrily, even though we had to use our fingers to eat. These guys were not allowing us any kind of weapon. After finishing the meal, we were once again busily engaged discussing our escape plans when the guard appeared once more.
He spoke in broken English. " You will be taken to the prison tonight. The truck will collect you after dark."
This put a new slant on our plans, but at least we would be returning to some form of civilisation, and just maybe we could find some means of escaping whilst in transit…