'This appeared in several of the national dailies in June'
'"Ex-Commandos, paratroopers, SAS troops wanted for interesting work abroad. Ring Camberly 3356". So what's it all about sir?'
'Apparently an ex-paratrooper by the name of Banks is recruting mercenaries for work in Africa Callan - he doesn't appear to have a contract but is offering his services to sundry African politicians. Special Branch have checked him out but they're not too concerned with him - they think he's a bit of a dreamer. This man, however, is a different beast altogether...'
'"Carlo Shannon, ex-Royal Marines, fought in the Congo and Biafra...intelligence indicates he was involved in an abortive coup planned to topple the government of Zangaro in 1972...may be active in Paris, recruiting mercenaries for employment in Northern Angola"...I don't get it sir, what's our interest?'
'Angola is going to be the next war in Africa Callan - the Portuguese are about to get out, the South Africans have already deployed troops across the Namibian border, there are rumours of Cuban training camps operating in support of the Marxist so-called "liberation movement"...we're keeping an eye on any British nationals that get involved. The Americans are sending money and weapons, HMG wants to be sure that none of our people get in the way.'
'So what do you want me to do Sir?'
'Special Branch are handing over Shannon to us. I want you to keep an eye on him while he's London Callan.'
'Oh charming sir, you want me to tail an ex-commando whose a recruiting sergeant for some tinpot African wannabe?'
'Exactly Callan, Shannon lands this afternoon on a scheduled flight from Paris, Liz has all the details. He's booked in the Clarence Hotel in Kensington for a week. Watch him Callan...'