Bryce accompanied David to his quarters and continued briefing him on the latest information. David removed his medal, placed it in its case and slid it into a pocket of his packed satchel, then looked around the room. "That seems it."
Hudson knocked, entered and saluted. "Your taxi is in the Square, Sir."
"Thank you, Hudson." David walked across the room and extended his hand to shake. "I'll miss your thorough attention, Hudson." He pointed to the portmanteau and satchel. "We can handle these ourselves. You are now excused, though I wish I could take you with me. You've been of immeasurable assistance these past three months."
"Thank you, Sir. You've been a pleasure to work for." He saluted, turned and left.
"A fine young lad," David said after he had heard the footsteps fade down the corridor.
"He's been with me since my commissioning, and I'm eager to have him back."
"He was your batman?"
"I thought it best that you not have to train one with everything else you've had to handle here." He smiled. "Let's get you to your cab and on your way." He bent and picked up the portmanteau.
London — Friday 15 October 1915
David took a taxi from Paddington Station to his hotel in Pall Mall, and once in his room, he unpacked his lounge suit and hung it to allow the wrinkles to fall out. That's for dinner, but I should continue in uniform. Easier than trying to ignore the white feather women. God, they're persistent. A man's not left in peace out of uniform.
He refreshed, then descended to the lobby to speak with the concierge. "Have you a map of this area?"
"Yes, Sir." He pulled one from a folder. "May I assist you in locating anything?"
"I need to replace this watch. Is there a shop nearby that handles Hans Wilsdorf?"
"You'll not find that name on their watches now, Sir." He frowned. "They've changed it to Rolex. German names have become unpopular." He pointed to the map. "Garrard and Company carry Rolex and other leading brands. They're in Albermarle Street, here." He ran his finger along the route as he spoke. "Along Pall Mall to Saint-James, which becomes Albermarle when it crosses Piccadilly."
David thanked him, picked up the map and studied it for a short while, then folded it and put it in his pocket. He crossed the lobby and went out the Haymarket doors. I'll visit the bootmakers first.
He walked along Haymarket to Jermyn Street, then along it two short blocks to Eagle Place and to Foster and Son. Inside, he showed his swagger stick to the clerk who had welcomed him. "The stitching appears as if it wants to undo here." He pointed to a widened seam.
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Back In ActionHistorical Fiction
In the early months of the First World War, a young Canadian soldier uses quick thinking and ingenuity to evade capture after being wounded fighting in Flanders. While escaping through Germany to the Swiss border, he becomes intimately entwined with...