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important and all that he aspired for in his military career. He was no career soldier; his
job was to get trained, get sent overseas and help end the war and keep the peace if
necessary, though this held less interest, then get straight back to civilian life. “I‟m
satisfied to help form that spine.”
Dick Pike pointed at his watch as he saw Grey finally approach at the agreed
rendezvous point. “What kept you?” he said as he got in, pretending to be irate, his
manner humorous.
“The bossman. Take it up with him because he‟s keeping you on. I managed to scrape
in this time, so good news all round,” Grey said positively.
“Well, good news for me. You might change your mind in six months time when you‟re
sleeping in a foxhole,” Dick quipped, in no rush to follow Grey and serve his country.
“I hope to be fighting quicker than that.”
“Did you ask him about me working alone?”
“Yeah. I lied and said you were ready for it so – don‟t quote me on this, but I reckon
that‟s how he‟ll play it.”
“Thank fuck for that,” Dick said, greatly relieved at this. While Grey was as blinkered as
Greg when it came to getting on with the job, he let Dick get on with it without censure,
unlike Greg, who was completely humourless and a total stickler for the rules.
“If we can finish off today this is my last day. Shit. Sorry, mate, I think you‟re going to be
working with Greg,” Grey said. He had been so fixated on joining up that he had not given
this matter sufficient thought and now he suddenly realised a major flaw. “You‟re going to
need to get your own wheels fast.”
Dick thought this over, looking for a way round it before exclaiming, “Fuck! It‟s worse
than that – Bob‟ll finish me and get a guy in who can find his own way around the city.”
Grey shook his head and said calmly, trying to pacify him, “I couldn‟t drive when Bob
took me on and it didn‟t put him off.”
“I should have been better prepared. This is your last day. So what am I doing
“Nothing‟s lined up so just go to the office in the morning and see what‟s up.”
“Another part-time week. That could be useful. I can use the time to get some wheels. If
I had the dough.”
“I tell you what. You can look after this for me. Don‟t show off to your mates in it. It‟s
dented and scratched enough as it is.” Grey made the offer after a moment‟s
consideration. His warning would be wasted on Dick who would be pulling off three point
turns at three in the morning and cruising everywhere with scant regard for his own safety
or anyone else‟s. Even taking this into account, Dick needed the vehicle and he was able
to help him out. His parents were not interested in taking up driving and his friends either
had their own wheels or had their sights set on something better than his rusty pickup.
“Seriously?” Dick said, disbelieving that Grey would be prepared to practically write off
his beloved vehicle. It was not perfect but it was his first set of wheels and he cherished
“When I come back I‟m reclaiming it. You‟re only borrowing it, and you have to maintain
it. Nobody else wants it so it‟s better off being used than blocking my parents‟ view.”
“I‟m broke at the moment, with these part-time weeks. I can‟t give you much for it.”