by Captain W. E. Johns



VII.         STILL MORE SHOCKS  (Pages 80 – 85)


Biggles is awoken the next morning by knocking and, without invitation, the Count and von Stalhein come into his room.  In the corridor are soldiers, so Biggles knows this is serious.  The Count asks Biggles what he did between his evening conversation with the Count and dinner last night.  Biggles says he went out and sat on the tarmac due to the heat.  He is able to persuade the Count this is true as he mentions what Mayer did on landing and this is confirmed by Mayer.  Biggles is then asked to explain how his German Secret Service ring came to be found near the reservoir – the item is tossed onto the table.  Biggles is stunned, not realising that he had lost it from his finger but his says Leffens must have dropped it.  Leffens had his ring.  He was taking off yesterday and said he had forgotten it and as he was in a hurry he borrowed the ring that Biggles had.  Biggles says Leffens told him to borrow his ring from Leffens room so that Biggles had one during Leffens absence.  Biggles produces Leffens ring from his draw and says that he always removes it prior to washing before going to bed.  Biggles is asked if he is suggesting that Leffens blew up the reservoir.  Biggles says he is not suggesting anything, but Leffens had tried to kill him.  Biggles has noticed von Stalhein reaching in his pocket for what he suspects is the bullet dug out of his aircraft.  Biggles says that when out flying, Leffens had dived out of the sun and shot up his plane.  Asked why he did not report that, Biggles says he was going to after Leffens had returned.  He wanted to hear his explanation first.  When Leffens did not return, Biggles thought is inappropriate to make such an accusation in his absence when it could have been a genuine mistake as Leffens may have thought Biggles’ aircraft was a genuine enemy aircraft.  Biggles asks that if he is to always be regarded with suspicion, then perhaps he should be transferred elsewhere.  The Count says “Nothing of the sort, Brunow,” in a fatherly tone.  Biggles is told to report for breakfast.