gulp of his drink and a smile of considerable satisfaction. 'Deception complete, break-through complete. On the whole, your men have done a pretty fair job.'

Both men turned in their chairs as a respectful rat-a-tat of knuckles preceded the opening of the heavy leather doors. Mallory entered, followed by Vukalovic, Andrea and Miller. All four were unshaven, all of them looked as if they hadn't slept for a week. Andrea carried his arm in a sling.

Jensen rose, drained his glass, set it on a table, looked at Mallory dispassionately and said: 'Cut it a bit bloody fine, didn't you?'

Mallory, Andrea and Miller exchanged expressionless looks. There was a fairly long silence, then Mallory said: 'Some things take longer than others.'

Petar and Maria were lying side by side, hands clasped, in two regulation army beds in the Termoli military hospital when Jensen entered, followed by Mallory, Miller and Andrea.

'Excellent reports about both of you, I'm glad to hear,' Jensen said briskly. 'Just brought some — ah — friends to say goodbye.'

'What sort of hospital is this, then?' Miller said severely. 'How about the high army moral tone, hey? Don't they have separate quarters for men and women?'

'They've been married for almost two years,' Mallory said mildly. 'Did I forget to tell you?'

'Of course you didn't forget,' Miller said disgustedly. 'It just slipped your mind.'

'Speaking of marriage — ' Andrea cleared his throat and tried another tack. 'Captain Jensen may recall that back in Navarone — '

'Yes, yes.' Jensen held up a hand. 'Quite so. Quite. Quite. But I thought perhaps — well, the fact of the matter is — well, it so happens that another little job, just a tiny little job really, has just come up and I thought that seeing you were here anyway…'

Andrea stared at Jensen. His face was horror-stricken.

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