"You know, it's odd," said the Doctor, his hands in the air against the bulk of the metal tank, "because we've only recently met someone who looked exactly like you."
Lieutenant Gruber glared back at him. "I do not care. You should not have been inside my little tank!"
"What? Oh, this is yours, is it? Didn't I just say it was splendidly in order, Harry? Polished down to the last lever and thingummydoodah."
"You did, Doctor."
Gruber's anger subsided a little, but he still had them at gunpoint.
Sarah tried smiling nicely. "It was an accident, honest."
"An accident?" Gruber returned, giving her a disdainful look. "You drove it straight into the Chateau! The General will be most displeased."
"Yes, an accident. I was driving it along, getting the hang of the thing and then this blundering idiot pushed me -."
"I didn't push," said Harry, with a note of weariness in his voice. "There wasn't much space in there. I moved, that's all -."
Gruber held his free hand up. "I do not wish to hear. You realise I may have to shoot you for this and I find it all most distressing."
"Well, in that case, don't shoot us. I mean, we're all happy with that, aren't we?"
"Absolutely, Doctor." Sarah nodded.
"What? Oh, yes."
Gruber swallowed. "Yes, but if I do not, the Colonel or the General will have me shot, or worse. I could be sent to the Russian Front and that I find even more distressing. Besides, that is no way to treat a valuable vehicle. My little tank is a sensitive machine."
"Look, you seem like a reasonable man," put in Harry, "Why don't you tell your superior it was some sort of mechanical fault – or that you found it like this and there was no one in sight? We'll get out of your way in no time at all, don't you worry."
The lieutenant looked at Harry and then put the firearm away. "Oh, very well. Since it is you and you ask so nicely, I shall say I found it like this, although he may wish me to shoot some peasants, but -. Go on, then. I shall close my eyes and when I open them, you will have gone and I may truthfully say I never saw anyone leaving the scene of the crime."
"Thank you," said Harry, startled that his suggestion had worked.
Sarah grabbed his arm. "Come on – back to the TARDIS before he changes his mind."
The three of them made their way back towards the ship, hurrying across the small central square of Nouvion.
"Well, that was a narrow squeak," said the Doctor, reaching for the key. "That's the last time I get inside a German tank with you, Harry Sullivan."
"I hope so, too, Doctor," said Harry with heartfelt honesty, and then caught at Sarah as someone emerged from the shadows, round the corner of the police box, blocking their exit. It was a French police officer.
"Good moaning," said the stranger. "Did you luve this British piluce bax hore?"
"Did we what?"
"And did I nit just sue you wicking awoo from the sin of a cream?"
The Doctor sighed. "Now, be reasonable, man, we've been through all that. And either the TARDIS is on the blink, or your French accent is appalling."
"Come with moo. I shill hove to lick you up for this," said Officer Crabtree. "The Germans suspict it is an unexploded bum dropped by the British air farce and they are nit amused. The Resistance are nit mich hoppier, as they are ticking the bloom for your cream."
The Doctor glanced back at the TARDIS, as the other two exchanged mystified glances. "Yes, I suppose the old girl is a bit conspicuous in this time and place."
"Sarah and I did try to mention it earlier, Doctor -."
"Hirry up! You should be glid I fond you and not the Germans."
The Doctor tipped his hat. "Come on, then, you two. Let's go and get licked up for our creams."