by Captain W. E. Johns



II.    ALGY GETS A SHOCK  (Pages 25 – 34)


Lieutenant Algernon Lacey, of 266 Squadron, stationed at Maranique in France is an acting flight-commander in the absence of Biggles.  Major Mullen tells Algy that he, Algy, has been posted to Cairo.  Algy is angry at this unexpected news.  ‘Wat’ Tyler, the Recording Officer, tells Algy that Biggles has been posted to Home Establishment and that Major Raymond of Wing Headquarters has also been posted to Headquarters Middle East.  Ten days later Algy is at Kantara, Palestine, the aerodrome to which he had been sent on arrival in Egypt.  He is met by Major Raymond and then, to his astonishment, taken to see Biggles.  Biggles explains what has happened so far and says that he told the General that he would “go on with the business on the understanding that no one knew except himself and two persons I should name, the idea being that those two persons should act as liaison officers with me”.  “I didn’t feel inclined to make my reports through strangers”.  Biggles confirms that Broglace “has put his cards on the table and made me an offer of high wages if I would join the German Secret Service”.  Biggles then asked for time to think it over and returned to see the General.  The General asked him to get to “this part of the world” due to the activities of a Hun known only as El Shereef.  Biggles has been told to get in touch with the leading British Intelligence Agent, Major Sterne.  Biggles then told Broglace when he next saw him, that he was too well known in Belgium and he asked to go to Palestine.  Biggles was then given a signet ring with a hinged flap that covered a peculiar device and he was told that it would work like an oracle.  Biggles had arrived in Palestine via Brussels, Berlin, Jerusalem and was then posted to Zabala, under Count von Faubourg, “who is O.C. of the German Secret Service on this particular sector of the front”.  Biggles says “I’m flying a British machine, a Bristol Fighter.  The Huns have two of our machines, a two seater – the Bristol - and a Sopwith ‘Pup’.  They must have forced-landed over the wrong side of the lines at some time or other, and been repaired”.  Biggles was sent out on reconnaissance this morning by the Germans to get his general bearings.  Biggles points to a map (He crossed to a large wall-map that hung on the side of the tent – is the illustration opposite page 32).  Biggles says that he has decided on the oasis of Abba Sud as an emergency meeting place and he wants Algy to hang around there as often as possible looking out for him.  Biggles goes to leave and Algy says “For God’s sake be careful, they’ll shoot you like a dog if they spot what you’re doing”.  Biggles goes to his plane and sees an Arab on horseback ride past.  He is told it is Major Sterne, coming in from one of his raids.  Biggles takes off back to the German lines.