Goddammit, where are you?

I paced the floor anxiously as Ireland’s hopefuls faced up to the worst that Argentina could throw at them.

Where the hell are you, damn you!

I knew that, somewhere in South America, Bock’s elite Military Wing had inserted itself covertly into a rugby stadium and would, even now, be desperately trying to establish a satellite uplink.

What the hell was going on? Had some evil Policia Federal ambush wiped out our heroic operatives?  Had the Argentinians gone back to their old tricks in football stadiums?

Dammit all to hell, where are you??

And then, just as I was giving up hope, there it was. The merest tremble on my receiver, but sign enough that they had got through. The mission was under way.

On the Avenida Salaverry, the message read, they talk of little else. Roadside shrines in homage to the great magician PJ Mara are appearing outside the casinos of San Miguel and Magdalena. In the leafy suburbs of Miraflores, they are numb at the demise of the heroic caballero Geronimo McDowell.

Well done, lads. Come home safe.

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