Neither fear, fire, nor Foreign Legion come between Jeff and his nice little earner. The RAF may be surprised to learn they helped. Charles Darwent.
Had you had the mixed fortune to be at Riyadh Airport one airless night a year ago last February, you might have seen a shadowy figure creep across the tarmac towards a waiting, Kuwait-bound RAF Hercules. Certainly, a Foreign Legion security guard did, for he stopped the aforementioned figure and asked it to produce its documents.
"Well", says Jeff Charlton, for such was the figure's name, "if 'e'd said to me passport I'd 'ave shown 'im straight off: but I didn' 'ave no documentation, so I told him so, flat" (For reasons of house style, all aspirates and participles will be reinstated from this point). The effect on the Legionnaire was electrifying: hissing "Special Services", he led Charlton to the aircraft and found him a seat on a cargo palette. Three hours later, Charlton, complete with rucksack ("two pairs of socks, two pairs of pants and all my chemicals") adorned with a Union Jack ("Well, I didn't want to get shot, did I?") became, in all probability, the first British businessman to set foot in liberated Kuwait.