And that was when Bernie and the Loch Brothers appeared, apparently they'd been watching everything from the shelter of the old Parish Church across the avenue and wanted to know the details they couldn't pick up from their hide, so Maude/Arabella introduced them as friends from Glasgow down for some hill-walking, and May—who in her radiant lissome youthfulness seemed to brighten the drab winter day—suggested they all go into the house for tea and scones after the excitement, about which Duddingston said: "when those vans came roaring up the street, it was like the Klondike Gold Rush, so it was," and Campbeltown suggested: "well, if they get a pat on the head and a bone, they'll probably roll on their backs and let their Master tickle their bellies, guys like that, less interested in gold than praise from on high," and Bernie said: "strange number—ennead—you guys know of any other police who would send out a squad of nine for an operation like that?" and as Dudd and Cammy shook their heads, he explained to May that most police forces have protocols for sending men into an unknown situation, "after all, there were four guys, possibly armed, pistols, automatic weapons, bombs even, and the minimum in a full frontal attack would be three for each suspect, which is twelve," and May rolled her eyes, which Bernie noticed, "sorry, I didn't think you couldn't do the math, but I did want to explain the chain of command—two men go for the target, a pincer move, one each side, while the third is ready to shoot to wound or to kill if the target tries anything offensive or defensive; ideally, there should be a fourth member of each team coming in from the back of the premises, so you're up to sixteen, plus a radio operator, and the Commander, and they had two vans and the Commander's car, three drivers—except the drivers were three of their nine—so for an operation like that, twenty-one, and they're SS? yes?" at which May looked embarrassed, "they're all local lads, I was just a kid when the war ended, but my parents told me the country went down like a house of cards, once Churchill was dead and the Royal Family surrendered, of course there were Germans here, probably nothing like you would all see in the cities, it's pretty quiet here in the Borders, but after a year most of the ordinary soldiers were sent somewhere else and were replaced by local boys like them, there's only a dozen or fifteen—separate from the civilian Police Constabulary—they live in barracks, get decent pay, all their food and shelter, it's only the NCOs and Officers who're German and if everything stays peaceful, they'll probably go as well, they held an election for the Mayor and next there's to be a Council elected, my Pa says they're a pack of sunshiners, you know, little beetles in their black, brown, green, grey uniforms, scurrying about and afraid to say anything in case they say the wrong thing, and most people here are happy enough, well, the Duke of Buccleuch and the other aristos were all pro-German before the war and once that Mosley chap was released from prison and appointed Prime Minister they told everyone to get back to work and get the country into shape, there will be peace in Europe for a thousand years, unless the Russkies start something, but nobody believes they will after the drubbing the Germans gave them, and Americans are happy it's all over," and Arabella asked: "but you aren't, May, are you?" and there was a hush in the room before the girl shook her head.