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Diamond formation. Page 36 of 50.


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ordinary tin kitchen foil and proceeded to unwrap it. I looked on amazed, as one would. Here we were, situated half way up a steep incline, the surrounding english countryside stretching magnificently before us, and Jack Spiller was now unrolling 20 yard lengths of aluminium foil.

He laid them in long strips on the ground, so their mirrored silver bounced the last remnants of day in diamond formation. Jack looked up at me and smiled without speaking.

I never asked at that point what he was doing. In some way it appeared indecent to do so. I thought I might allow Jack Spiller a free hand, then inquire to his eccentricity. For obviously he was eccentric, I remember thinking to myself as I viewed that big gun of his.

I was now beginning to feel a fraction concerned for my own safety. Jack Spiller took a huge green sheet of canvas from his oversized rucksack, spread it out on the ground, and then covered the said canvas sheet in foil. Jack used a large reel of black masking tape to hold it in place, and must have worked relentless for about fifteen minutes before finally analysing his completed operation with a satisfied smile.

"You worked out what it's for?" He asked, as he viewed me from his low position on all fours, on the floor.

I simply shook my head quickly. Jack was one of those type of men with a wild, sinister look in his eyes, as though madness or criminality were never too distant from his reach. I did admit, it was very professionally put together though.

Jack stood tall, inverted the canvas so the foil side now lay underneath. He instructed me to take hold of the other end and help him cover that small tube frame.

We stretched that canvas sheet as though it a bed cover. Jack retrieved some tent pegs and nailed it fast, so we had a hide.

It was about eight foot long, five or six foot wide and possibly three foot high. Jack informed me as he carefully placed his items of kit at the far end: "Microwaves and Infrared can't penetrate this stuff. I learnt all about it in the army," said Jack.

Apparently, Jack had been taught how to evade enemy helicopters when he trained special forces. He said, almost with a cheeky smile, that is why the police never catch him poaching when he's out of a night time. "They fly that bloody old helicopter of their's back and forth, they do." Said Jack, proud of his evasion of the forces of law and order. "Look for your body heat. Your little black triangles work on the same principle," added Jack, as he slithered in his hide. He suggested I join him.

I turned myself, lowered to my knees, then my belly and reversed my body deep inside the hide. Jack and myself were now secreted in a tiny little "Bivvy", as he called it, and hidden from the world. Jack's voice like the light slowly faded.

Within an hour the countryside beyond was pitch, nothing to be seen except mile after infinite mile of black expanse and a faint outline of valley hills in the distance.

As usual I complained. It didn't really take me that long. We must have only been there an hour or so before I was moaning that I couldn't see anything.

Jack handed me a pair of binoculars, which I took, telling him as I did so they would be no use to me. Jack suggested I tried them.

I raised the glasses to my eyes, and smiled, as a sea of electric green became apparent. "A leaving present from the army," said Jack.

He meant he had stolen them. I now surveyed the English countryside through stolen army binoculars, while hidden on private land.

The only thing I could see Jack getting me, was a criminal record for theft and trespass. We spent the whole night there, waiting, talking in whispers, waiting some more and then watching the dawn slowly break.

At 5am Jack called it a day. He emerged from the hide, collapsed it and rolled it already prepared for the next night in to a ball.

Jack suggested we head back to the woods, which we did, and hold-up there until nightfall. I have never known such monotonous boredom in all my life.

We spent nearly fifteen hours each day hidden in a large copse, and the only thing to punctuate them lonely hours was Jack's military stories. He told how many women he had slept with round the world; sometimes in great detail.

He told me about every drinking session he had ever had, and how he enjoyed shooting people. Apparently Jack was in the Falklands war, and "despatched a good few Argies!" as he so quaintly put it. It was the forth night out things ....

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