'Arthur.' he turned and saw Jack 'here they come.'
Arthur looked a bit confused for a second, glanced up a saw a group of men walking towards them both. 'I see.'
The delegation was lead by the Chief of the Air Staff, Marshall of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Tedder himself, who made the introductions.
Jack knew some of the names, and had indeed met some of them before. After a few minutes of small talk they got to work.
The first thing Air Commodore Frank Whittle did was head to the engine 'As we thought.'
Nods from the other men present 'just a poorly made Jumo 4. Wouldn't last more than, what?' he looked to Willy Messerschmidt for an answer.
Ernst Heinkel replied 'Out engines would last up to thirty hours if we were very lucky. That was only because of the lack of materials we needed. If the Russians make their engines like this they lack the same materials we did or they are doing it in a rush. Look here you can see fatigue already. Very poorly made indeed.'
'So one mission for each engine?' asked one of the other men.
'I should think so.'
'Look at this' came call from an officer in a RN uniform. He had not joined the others in inspecting the engine.
'What do you mean Eric?' said Whittle
After about half an hour Arthur and Jack left them to it. They started to walk away when they were stopped by the Royal Navy man. 'Is the pilot still here?'
'I think so.' said Jack
'Could you take me to him please?'
'Her, we can certainly take you to her.'
The Russian pilot was sitting in the Leper Chapel which was less than a mile form the airport.
She looked a little sullen, thought Lt Brown, was she praying, he don't know. Maybe? A Russian pilot with a conscience? He signalled the two RAF policeman to stand easy. He took the pew which was nearest, and glanced at the interpreter who had accompanied him.
'You do not need him to be here I speak English.'
'You can call me,' she thought for a few seconds, 'you can call me Ludmilla, yes Ludmilla. And I am dead now.'
'What do you mean by that, we are not going to shoot you.'
'It is better for my family that I am dead. If the NKVD think I still live, my family will not.'
'Is that what Stalin wants?'
'Maybe he does, but he never know. If I dead now am now a hero in his eyes. Beria would kill everyone. He find out. My whole village is gone.'
Brown was taken aback by this. He had heard of the purges of the 1930's but it had never crossed his mind that one person could be worth so much, and so little.
'I'll ask you again, why did you land?'
'We fought the fascists together and now we fight each other. I not understand this. I flew Hurricane, now I fly Yak against friends. It is not right.'
'Are there many who think like you?'
'It is better not to know what others think, The commissars find out you are shot and the rest of your fellows as well and officers as well, also.'
'I see' said Brown 'are you going to help us? I need to know how to fly your Yak.'
'I help you with that. But not fight those from the Motherland. You understand?'
'Yes I understand, I am not French.' He laughed.
This was lost on Ludmilla.
They talked for sometime. About flying only.
'What will happen now?' she asked.
'You officer, how do I know. Officers say things and then change mind. How do I know?'
'As I said no harm will come to you. Are you hungry?'
'You have food for me?'
'Of course, we have food for everyone.'
'You must wrong. We were told no one here has food.'
'We have food, not as much as we would like. We get it from the United States and Canada. There are no longer the U boats that sink our ships and since your army has taken Europe we no longer have to send food there.' he paused 'anyway, I'll see if I can get you some soon.'
'Were will this be, at airfield?'
It was Lt Brown's turn to pause 'That may be not the best idea, too many people could see you, and we know there are spies around. There are some pubs and hotels near they may be able to get us both something to eat. First we have to get you some different clothes.'
'In pub they will hurt me?'
'We'll just say you are from, where are you from?'
'I am from Ukraine, not a Russian. Will be just two of us?'
'Probably not the best idea, The gentlemen outside will have to accompany us.'
It was a nice evening, ahead of 'Ludmilla' and Brown walked the two RAF police. A little too rigid and military looking for the Eric's liking. Just the wrong kind of thing to draw attention to themselves.
They had been to the British Restaurant in Petty Cury. Now they were heading up Newmarket Road.
Ludmilla stopped, and pointed further up the street. 'Is that a pub?'
'I believe so, well it looks like one.' The Blackout had returned so it was a bit hard to make out. 'Would you like to go in?'
'Please, is it nice? Do they have vodka?'
'I wouldn't think so, even if they have they won't serve it now.'
'Stalin is killing us, just like Hitler did, they didn't serve schnapps then.' Brown stopped himself he had got a little angry with the young lady.
So very, very very different than Irma Grese. Both once his country's enemy. One fooled, one that had done the fooling. That bitch, so many men would have done nothing so bad. No evil. So much evil to others let alone what that woman had done. He snapped himself out of it.
'Please. That nice. Thank you.'