Foyle's Army

Detective Superintendant Foyle tackles his most perplexing murder case when a member of the local Home Guard is found dead.

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8. Chapter Eight

“Don't let him kill me,” screamed Hodges.

            “Remember, Captain Mainwaring,” commented Fraser, “that you've never liked the man.”

            The German led Hodges down to the beach where a number of rowing boats had been turned upside-down as a makeshift barrier against landing craft.

            “Turn one of these boats over and put it in the water,” the German commanded.

            “Pike! Fraser! Do as he said.”

            The two privates righted one of the boats and pushed it into the sea. The German made Hodges sit in it, then sat behind him, his bayonet still at Hodges's throat. “There is a fishing boat out there waiting for me,” he explained. “You will row me out to it. Once you have done that, I will release you and allow you to row back. If you do what I say, no harm will come to you.” Reluctantly, Hodges began to row out to sea.

            “Looks like he's got away, sir,” I mused to Foyle.

            “Not quite,” Mainwaring explained. “I had my men remove the bilge plugs from these boats in case this sort of thing happened.” Sure enough, the boat was getting lower in the water.

            “You hooligans! This is my best uniform!” yelled Hodges as the boat finally sank, pitching him and the German into the sea. The two men struck out for the pier where Foyle and I were able to arrest the latter, who quickly gave a full confession.

            Jones and Walker, reaching downwards, were pulling Hodges out of the water when a staff car pulled up. Out stepped a Home Guard Colonel.

            “Salute, men!” ordered Mainwaring.

            “We can’t!” protested Jones, without turning round.

            “No excuse, Jones! You of all men should know to salute a senior officer.” Jones and Walker turned, stood up and saluted, whilst a screaming Hodges fell back into the water with a splash that soaked Private Pike.

            “I’m all wet, Mr. Mainwaring!” Pike complained. Mainwaring ignored him.

            “I was on my way over to warn you that there was a suspected Nazi loose in the area,” the Colonel explained. “But I see you’ve already captured him. Well done, Mainwaring!”

            “I think you owe Captain Mainwaring an apology,” I heard Godfrey say to Fraser as we led the German to our car. The Scotsman turned to his commanding officer.

            “I never doubted you for a single minute,” he said.

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