It came as something of a shock to realise Tarantino could whistle, let alone smile at the same time. That he was whistling The Ride of the Valkyries was more in keeping. But the extent of his triumph could hardly be over-stated. Greycoat gone without a trace, the Admiral put out to grass (some sinecure at the Prescription Pricing Authority had been lined up as a sweetener) and the whole organisation in a state which could only be compared with the terror created in the wilder passages of The Lord of the Rings .
As the Terminator strode the corridor, it cleared ahead of him.
Nurses pushed fainting patients into lifts or cupboards as they saw him approach, junior doctors rapidly lost their normal subaggressive air of superiority and ran for the pharmacy. Even senior consultants pressed themselves against the wall and tried to control a sudden palsy. Tarantino appeared unconscious of the effect he was having. But his soul rejoiced, and he missed not a whimper nor a sudden disappearance.
As he turned into his office he glanced at a shaken Miss Twinset and snapped, 'In!' Meekly she followed. She had little doubt of what was to come. Nor had I, but I had rarely seen him as brutal. 'Miss Twinset, we can't carry on like this. I need someone younger, more vibrant, more. . . presentable.'
To give her her due, the Dragon came out fighting. Well, she said, if bra size was to be a major determinant of suitability she didn't want the job. But Tarantino was unflappable today.
There was a post in outpatient reception, and she should remove herself and her collection of corn dollies thither soonest.
I thought she might cry, but she hadn't faced the Mau Mau as a teenager for nothing. She would not be taking up the offer and would leave forthwith. She realised she would forgo any redundancy settlement, but she wanted none of his blood money.
She picked up her coat and handbag. Her husband's chauffeur would call for her things. She swept out, the effect partly marred by a collision with her replacement, Mrs Peroxide, Tarantino's ex-bunny girl PA, the Dragon's exact opposite in deportment, skirt length and ability.
The Terminator sat in his chair, the only one I'd ever seen made entirely from stainless steel and smoked glass. To work!
He needed an able lieutenant. But whom to choose?