Official journal of Major Thomas Kendall. H.M.SP
March 1941, New York.
It seems that Yankees are eager to lay their greedy paws even on the salty seawater. With all respect to the Prime Minister, I still don't understand what was a point of showing off on the radio in front of the silly housewives. Churchill is a true master of speech! He can make anyone weep away (cry their eyes out) and to convince anyone of anything, but the Congress consists of no sweet romantic damsels, but of rotten thieves and plungers!
From a hundred of those old crocks given to me by Farelli, only thirty can actually more or less sail. In the best case, even after thorough repairs half of those pieces of scarp would only be suitable as a transport, rest are only floating about because that Italian baboon scribbled down on his papers that " the future torpedo battleships and transport for Europe's most mature democracy " are totally ready for shipping
Prime Minister is revelling in his own speeches and I am the one who holds all responsibility for positioning the navy. No sailors and no screen either! Farelli must be head over heels in love with Duce, though if not being American: but hey, macaroni cheese always stinks with macaroni…
Although I must admit that the Old man haven't lost his grip. I doubt we would have got even those half-decomposed crocks, if it were not for this blab.
No wonder why my grand dad used to go to New York every year for a good spree. The booze was ghastly, but in plenty, even the time of Prohibition And being called Wooster you didn't have to worry about getting the"fuel". A good city for such name, but I haven't inherited it. While the Old man was prancing round those pillages, I could only slowly get hammered in some pub for my own cash , and dream about the drunken deeds of my glorious ancestor.
The delegation already left home, so I can finally get down to business. Farelli once again offered to hire a crew, but I threatened him that I was authorised to break the contract. These idiots fear scandals more than loss to the point that they quickly gathered me a crew of seven hundred fine thugs. Well, I am even pleased. Those mobs established discipline themselves, so the only thing I had to do is to promise them that after the war they would all be exonerated and all charges would be removed. Farelli didn't mind.
For all three weeks of shipping of American scrap metal bowls nothing happened. A couple of drunken fights don't count. SomesSenior sergeants somehow appeared themselves among those swines, dragged me a few bootleggers who pushed through alcohol on board and promised to deal with it themselves. Well, off they go! They would handle their own problems much quicker.
Portsmouth appears to be as disgusting as always, but now you can have a good pint without having to worry about the splitting headache at night rolling. My gang got a first year sea cadet's uniform, so I wont refuse myself in pleasure of seeing the whole town amuse themselves on those dump bumpkins.
Although my thus are so pleased with their freedom that paw about local damsels as if they RAF fops.
April 1941. Portsmouth.
For the first time in the whole week there is some kind of movement. From the news we know that London is being constantly bombed, but our port remains untouched. Although it's not surprising, there are more pilots here than sailors. I happened to hear that we have only seven hundred air fighters. And if only a week ago there were only about twenty planes zooming over towards the sea, now there are whole squads of them... Its seems that half of the whole Royal aviation had gathered here.
Something is cooking. Some unknown Colonel took away from me more than a half of my fleet and completely rejected my thugs. Colonel with suspicious generosity and with no unnecessary comments promised to me a submarine and a surveillance (scout) aircraft .They are either went completely nuts their or my cushy lob in the Special Forces is turning into a big pile of crap. I've never even seen a plane nearby!
The submarine has arrived! And together with it all barracks became crowded with underage lieutenants, who due to the lack of uniform were sewing epaulets (shoulder straps) straight to their jackets and jumpers. A bit more and we will turn into tramps. Spotty youngsters have spread amongst my sailing crocks, like cockroaches, and sucseflylly released me from those, as well as from the majority of my gang. The whole fleet has "sailed to block Tirpitz". How wonderful! Half of the ships would sink just like that, in honour of its own decay.
A new telegram from the Royal Navy has arrived - nothing encouraging what so ever. Chamberlain, the previous Prime Minister managed to sweep away the majority of secrete services " For the sake of Peace in Europe ", and Churchill started to re-collected us one-by-one: and ended up with a couple of scowls of us. He found me as well, all my hopes in vain! An old buffer remembered operations in Ethiopia, Rhodesia and God knows where else, where I used to hang around. - A bit later a courier has arrived who brought tremendous news: the Prime Minister himself would visit me. Welcome, Mister Churchill!
Late April 1941. Portsmouth.
Bowler in its all appearance expressed its total neglect for manners. He was unnaturally clean and its cut reminded of mature haunts of East-End old clubs in the twenties. But the main thing, it suited perfectly well that round and a bit fleshy head of its owner. He was slowly walking through the square towards an old mansion, which wish its massive look actually made a wide pavement look like square. There was no compulsory monument on his way, and a few stumps instead of several sickly trees: German aviation started paying visits even here, so the local volunteer troops were quick cut those down and use them as support pillars in rough bomb-shelters.
The Bowler carefully walked around the piles of twigs and slowly went up the stairs. Before he rang the doorbell, it once again, demonstrated its lack of manners. One more smoke cloud from a Cuban cigar left its mark on the inside of the brim, which made that perfectly clean black hat spark cheekily with grey when its owner lifted his head up.
The door opened suddenly. A fifteen -year-old boy in the oversized uniform took a piece of pie out of his mouth:
- Its straight upstairs to the Major. Take your shoes off. When you leave, knock on the kitchen door on the right!
That fellow instantly turned round on his heels and disappeared behind the kitchen door. Bowler appreciated his bearing, must be the two-month cadet discipline. But then he hemmed, realising that such rudeness must be implanted by the master of the house- no doubt, a real gentleman.
Groaning and moaning, the Bowler took his shoes off and spank upstairs in his socks, as no slippers managed to be found. Portraits along the staircase were looking down at the smoked bowler-hat and bare socks with great offence. No one for the entire three hundred years history dared to insult this house in such rotten manner. Even some squire some time ago after a wild bout was garbling upstairs in full fig. However, war brings its own rules, if you cant come in outdoor footwear, there is no choice but to walk around in socks…
The Major, a young man of about 25 was looking with great boredom at the map hanging in front of him. That feeling of boredom was brought by the countless number of lines scribbled down by cadets. Because of that it was difficult even to read gay-like names of small villages on a detailed, and even attractive in a way, south-coast map. There was no way to remove those slate-pencil marks, because the owner of the stationary shop with praiseworthy enthusiasm was digging up the remaining trees round the town.
How wonderful would it be to find even a single spot on the map unmarked by the pencil!
The Bowler carefully turned the door handle and looked into emerged doorway and saw the Major who was observing the brutally scribbled up map with some genuine interest.
Mid-May 1941. Portsmouth
- Major Kendall, Sir!
The young man visibly twitched, but turned to the bowler calmly. He was Kendall after all.
- Your Honour! I am glad to see you. We were expecting you.
- No point to talk nonsense, its enough just to take a look at your batman. Gobbling his food down and sleeping is all he does.
- Well, I have no need of him anyway. Let him enjoy himself. He suddenly sprung- and where are the rest? The guards, that bunch of crooked old men, and that one… damn him… the Secretary? The one who looks like a dead fish?
- Everyone's in a hotel, so no one would disturb us. Your rude manners could only be excused by your tittle but I've got something in my pocket for you too. You must have got a package delivered to you, so you realise that things are not so simple. Not to pull you about, your assignment order was signed by your grandfather, current Admiral of the Royal Navy. I am only a mere servant of the Military Department, the Bowler squinted cunningly. -Here is an order parcel.
Major took the parcel and nodded his head dispiritedly towards chairs. The Bowler-hat cheerfully flopped into the nearest one and stretched his hand towards a carafe with port. While Sir Kendall was unpacking the parcel Bowler managed to get the strong Taste of Dorset cider disguised as port, which was allowed to the army officers. After few sips he added:
- Your ancestor often recalled Asencure, Wooster's valour, Kendall's iron will at Waterloo… Bowler's round face was turning into a perfect circle from hardly restrained laughter, - he was easy to manipulate anyway. He wanted his grandson to be a hero too.
- I know, - Major was preparedly looking over the order, -that was his favourite theme. But why me? I know I am a murderer. I've nothing to hide from you! But my grandfather knows nothing about my adventures in Rhodesia. Nevertheless I am inheriting the tittle so my reputation must remain perfect.
- And this is why you were chosen. Today it wouldn't be enough to hang you, in your grandfathers time you would be a hero! So here is a chance for you to prove your "valour" and I would handle your reputation myself. You know I consider you as a fairly good man, yet I know still that you are a scum, just like your grandfather.
- Well, it looks like I have to agree.
- I like the sound of that, Tom. You, Sir is a man of the kind that is virtually impossible to trample down… You have a month and a half for a drill. This is my last favour- do walk on your own after that. To put it softly, hired killers are not considered to be heroes nowadays
Official Diary of Major Thomas Kendall. H.M.SP
That old fox would never become a gentleman. Blackmail is a rotten affair… Although at the end of the day I was relieved of the responsibility of feeding my blockheads. A new fashion sets new standards- it requires me to work: so its not surprising when half of my familiar Viscounts, Baronets and general landless Lords are boasting that they are "being engaged in productive labour" in some haberdashery, you start feeling like an outcast. I am working as well, you know, but you wouldn't tell them of my exploits... You feel like a complete idiot in this club.
That Colonel's order left me with a score or two of the most notorious American criminal daredevils. Prior to embarkation in New York I personally made a list of undisciplined crewmembers. I have to confer half of them to the rank of a sergeant. They would cut each-others throats! And I would then have to tell them that they would be shot like rabbits upon landing. In three hundred years it were only Germans who managed to occupy Trondheim port, and only because Norway discreetly agreed to give away that ten square kilometres of cracked concrete. Mind though, fortifications there are very strong.
Just as I was expecting few of my charges got into a knife fight or something and got locked up in jail for half a month.. We are sailing in four days and two idiots who received sergeant stripes from me ,have now lost them - I appointed a couple of alcoholics from the rest , but now Germans would bury me exclusively amongst sergeants , no soldiers.
Thanks to the Old man - bunches of bombers are heading north-east. Every half-hour I wake up from the strained rumble of those flying tins with propellers, but I know that I would see a third of it in three days as a pile of rusted metal on Trondheim concrete. A couple more thugs asked to put them back in prison, and to hell with them! But others still look at me as at their saviour.
The submarine is ready but there is still no crew. After such joyful news I personally went down to look at that diving wonder - on its board its release year- 1925, was shining in all splendour. If I didn't know for sure that the Bowler sticks to his words, I would have thought that I was sent to slaughter. However, the submarine seemed to be fairly well equipped inside and by the end of the day they calmed me down by sending me a pilot. So, according to the original intent the submarine should come back safe. Churchill seems to be rather affectionate to Americans, but I still have a chance to survive.
We are setting out. Thick order and instruction package looks pretty impressive. My scums are divided in two groups: one lands with me and the other would be thrown in later as a support group. I can't even imagine how would those rams manage to complete landing and remain undetected. They lack one more barrel of booze and a tenner of football horns, or the Germans might miss our landing by chance!
I even decided not to rush anyone anywhere and gave out no orders. We are going to slaughter, so at the moment one may well get by without any obligations or rules. And in case my thugs still didn't get it, I understood what was it all about straight away, in my first conversation with Prime Minister. If I survive, I would be clean. I want to survive!
To be continued… in game!