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Returning the Favour

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Algy stood and stretched. "I think I'll head out and leave you two to sort the details. Oh, and Erich?" Von Stalhein looked up sharply, startled to hear Algy address him by his first name. "Thought you might want this back. Y'know, just in case."

He pulled something from his pocket and held it out, and von Stalhein flushed when he realised what it was: his own monogrammed handkerchief, clean, pressed and neatly folded, last seen some twenty years earlier. He took it wordlessly, and Algy winked at him before turning to leave, whistling cheerfully.

Von Stalhein sat mute, still holding the handkerchief and staring at it as though it might bite him.

Biggles, brow furrowed in confusion, watched Algy go. "What on earth's got into the pair of you? That was almost friendly," he observed. He peered at the small bundle in von Stalhein's hand. "Is that yours? What was Algy doing with—" von Stalhein looked round at Biggles, and saw the sudden realisation on his face. "For heaven's sake, Erich. Tell me you didn't."