The One and Only BBB
- Nov 1, 2010
Part Thirty Two
September 23rd 1938, Ciudad Valdeluz, 4 miles from Guadalajara, Spain
The heat was unbelievable. Bradley took off his hat and attempted to use it as a fan. When this failed, he opened his tunic’s top buttons, slowly unbuttoning the rest as Levinson talked in Spanish to the man at the head of the welcoming committee.
“El campo es unas dieciséis millas detrás de nuestra línea”.
“¿Cuál es la ciudad más cercana?” Levinson asked.
“Brihuega. Que es donde está la sede se supone que es”.
The man handed Levinson a map. He turned to Bradley and waved it a little, like a child who had just gotten a new toy. Bradley smiled in response and grabbed the gun that Connor had just shoved in his face.
“Do you have any idea where we’re going?” Connor asked somewhere to his left.
Bradley kept his gaze fixated on the Spanish soldiers piling into their battered vehicle. He thought it might have been Model T, but dismissed the notion as absurd. That was, until it took off with a splutter and slowly began to putter off the airstrip.
“Seriously. Do you know where we’re going?” Connor asked, giving Bradley a push as he did so.
“I heard something about Brihuega and ciudads”.
Levinson strode back to them with a spring in his step, signaling for Allenby and Moss as he did.
“Who here knows how to drive?”
The question struck Bradley as being rather odd. Who didn’t know how to drive? Heck. He’d lived in the suburbs and his father had taken him to learn on Mr. Harrison’s old tractor. Bradley raised his hand.
“Great. Get the vehicle out of the garage. I hear they’ve given us the best car in the whole Republican Army”, Levinson said, pointing at what looked like more like a tool shed than a garage.
Bradley jogged to the tool shed, giddily imagining himself at the wheel of one of those fancy Rolls Royce trucks he’d seen during training. He opened the door, and was immediately underwhelmed by the sight. It was a former military ambulance that still bore the scars of the World War. He stood there for a moment, wondering if this was really the best Spain could offer, before Levinson’s call woke him up.
“Less gawking! More driving!”
Bradley got into the driver’s seat, and immediately noticed the steering wheel was not there. As if it wasn’t insulting enough that they had been given such a cruddy vehicle, the car was clearly designed to be driven on the wrong side of the road. Bradley muttered curses under his breath as he clambered to the seat on his left.
The key at least was already in the ignition. He twisted it as hard as he could, and heard the car start, just as the end of the key broke off.
“Well, that’s just brilliant”.
Bradley slowly guided the ambulance out of the tool shed. Nevertheless, the remainder of the canvas covering the passenger area was ripped off with an ugly sound of tearing fabric as it made contact with the top of the garage door. The worn and stained Red Cross drifted to the ground, unneeded and unwanted by Bradley.
The car trundled to a halt that was only half caused by Bradley’s pressing of the brakes.
“Hop in. But watch it. I don’t think that it can take much sudden weight gain”.
Levinson looked slightly disappointed, but still more content with the vehicle than the rest of the team, who were grumbling to their soul’s content.
“Best thing in the entire Republican Army? No wonder Franco’s been kicking them left to right”.
Levinson jumped into the seat that the steering wheel should have been at.
“Well Ellis. Time to prove that you can drive”.
Bradley reached for the map that Levinson had placed on the dashboard, but Levinson put his hand like a snake striking at its prey.
“I’ll be reading the map”.