Savage had given him. ‘You have read these, Captain. You do appreciate that they place you and the sergeant entirely under my command?’
‘Of course, sir.’
‘Good, I thought there might be some misunderstanding.’ He turned on Detweiler coldly. ‘Which means that in future, when I want your opinion, I ask for it.’
Detweiler was badly shocked and it showed. He turned in a kind of appeal to Savage, ‘For Christ's sake, Captain…’
Carter cut in fast. ‘Get your feet together and stay that way until I tell you different. Come on, man! Move!’
Detweiler, red in the face, did as he was told.
Carter took the envelope from the inside pocket of his battledress tunic, extracted the letter of authorization General Eisenhower had given him in Algeria and the similar one he had obtained from President Roosevelt.
Savage did as he was told and looked up in astonishment. ‘Good God!’ he whispered.
‘Exactly,’ Carter said. ‘I'm not going to mince matters. I don't like your sergeant's attitude. If there was time to dump him, I would, but there isn't.’
‘Colonel, Detweiler's a good soldier. We've been through a lot together. I know.’
‘Good, then show him those letters and see if you can talk some sense into him. I'll be back in five minutes to explain exactly what's going on here.’
Luciano was sitting against one of the stone lions on the terrace. He had changed into black sweater and pants, but still needed a shave.
He looked up at Carter, shaking his head. ‘Where the hell did you find them?’
‘His uncle's a three star general.’
‘And I used to know Al Capone very well indeed. What in the hell does that have to do with the price of tomatoes? Listen, Professor, I know the type. Boston, the first four hundred. The kind of people who fell over each other in their scramble to be first off the Mayflower. Who needs him?’
‘Would you mind telling me why?’
‘Because, strictly speaking, the whole thing is an American operation, so it seemed like a good idea to the powers that be to have somebody like Savage and Detweiler along.’
‘Oh, I see. You mean I didn't count?’
‘Something like that.’
Carter smiled, aware that there was no strain with Luciano at all. That for some reason it was like old friends talking. No need to pretend or pull punches.
‘Great,’ Luciano said. ‘That really makes me feel wanted.’
‘He's a good man. Two DSCs, a Silver Star. Even the French have decorated him. When he operated in France as an OSS agent, the Gestapo had him and he got away. Since then he's raided across the Channel into France with Special Forces on a number of occasions.’
‘France isn't Sicily. What's he doing here?’
‘His father was a diplomat at the American Embassy in Rome before the war for four years. Savage went to school there. Speaks good Italian.’
Luciano said. ‘Rome Italian. Professor, there are villages in the Cammarata where that will sound like Greek. Anyway what's Detweiler's story?’
‘He was born and raised in New York, but his mother is Italian. I've already given them a brief rundown on the whole affair. I've arranged to meet in the library for a full briefing. Do you know where Sister Maria is?’
There was a rumble of thunder overhead as if rain threatened. Luciano said, ‘I think she went for a walk in the grounds. I'll find her.’
‘Good. The library in half an hour then,’ Carter said and went inside.
Maria sat on a stone bench by the fountain in the rose garden. She wore slacks, an olive green army sweater that was at least two sizes too large for her and a scarf twisted around her head like a turban.
It was very calm, peaceful, the only sounds rooks calling to each other in the beech trees at the end of the rose garden. The fact that she was here and in the open instead of inside the house was in itself significant.
She was trying to come to terms with freedom for the first time in years. It was