Danton cupped a hand to his ear. "Hist" he said.
"What can you hear?" asked Lynton.
"A hiss" answered Danton.
"Where's it coming from?" enquired Colonel Erskin.
"That rucksack" said Danton, pointing to the green bundle on the floor.
Pinxit made a grab for the offending item and opened the flap, from inside, a tall figure emerged wearing a pork pie trilby, rain coat and wellington boots. "Morning is this Victoria station" it said.
"Fuck me!" cried Inchcock, "How long have you been in there!?"
"Since you left Islamadoowhat" answered the tall one.
"No wonder me back hurts, I carried you for miles" sighed Inchcock.
RSM Lynton stepped forward. "What's your name man" he said in his best military voice.
"Captain Skoob sir from the Hampshire Intelligence Corps"
"What the hell are you wearing man?!" shouted Colonel Erskin.
"I'm in disguise sir" answered Skoob.
"Disguised as what?" asked RSM Lynton.
"Gas man sir" replied Captain Skoob.
"In the middle of Africa" cried Pinxit.
"It was difficult" said Skoob "I nearly got tumbled by the chief Zulu".
"How?" asked Danton.
"I lost me clip board" replied Skoob.
"So what intelligence do you have about the Zulu's" enquired Colonel Erskin.
"Well sir" began Skoob, "They are tall, very angry and don't use British gas".
"Blimey" started Lynton, "Fancy not having gas".
Bovine came crashing into the room. "Sar! Der Zulu's is comin darn the hill toward us".
"Shall I break out the ammunition sir" asked Danton.
"The toilet roll more like" said Pinxit.
"Who's got the rifle?" asked Danton.
"Right men" said Colonel Erskin in his best not afraid voice, "man the pumps and scrivinge the mortar nests, it's going to be a long day for this company of unfit lunatic soldiers"
"Each man choose a window and shoot when given the command" said RSM Lynton.
"It's going to be very difficult sir" Inchcock sighed.
"Why?" asked Captain Skoob.
"There's only one window mate" answered Pinxit.
"Take it in turns then lads, if one of you gets a spear through the nugget you're out" said Lynton.
"Dems is getting closer sird" noted Bovine.
"Inchcock gazed out of the one window. "They do look nice in all their regalia"
"For fucks sake Inchy, when they get hold of you mate, they will be taking home your testicles as earrings for their wives and girlfriends" said Danton.
"Haven't got any, so I'm alright then" said Skoob.
"Where did you lose them" enquired Pinxit.
"Sold them to a Zulu warrior for his wife's birthday present" answered Skoob.
"I have an idea" said Colonel Erskin.
"Oh no, not the one about saving the last bullet for yourself" answered Lynton.
"No, why don't we set up a shop, and when they arrive, we can trade trinkets for food and money" replied Erskin.
"What, you mean sell them our crap instead of fighting them?" asked Pinxit.
"Yes, they come charging at us, and when they get here, we have a nice shop for them to browse"
"Your mad sir, but I think it could work" advised Lynton.
With that, each man emptied out his bags and rucksack into the middle of the room. Inchcock and Skoob wrote signs while Lynton, Erskin and Pinxit sorted out the goods. Danton put tables together and made hanging rails for the clothes. Each man threw himself into their work, except for Bovine.
"This aren't right sird, we should stand and fight like soldiers" said Bovine.
"We are outnumbered one thousand to one Bovine, it is either this, or into the dark beyond" replied Colonel Erskine.
"Permission to charge the enemy sird" asked Bovine.
"Yes" said Erskine, "Charge them as much as you can".
There was a loud banging on the door followed by deep harmonious singing. The Zulu's had arrived.
Pinxit opened the door and in they rushed, to be met by several men dressed in brown coats standing behind make shift counters holding up their hands and motioning the warriors to browse the goods.
After several hours of dangerous bartering and counter bartering, the shop had sold out. The Zulus
Marched away carrying bundles crap happy they had beaten the English down to the lowest price.
The battle of Rokes Droft was over and our men returned to England heroes of the hour. They were awarded the Victoria Cross and given freedom of the City of London along with huge pensions.
Somewhere in the wild of Africa, a man known as Bovine had been left behind just in case the Zulu's had wanted to exchange or return any of the goods. He now owns a small shop in Roukes Drift.