by Captain W. E. Johns



IX.   A FIGHT AND AN ESCAPE  (Pages 98 – 107)


Biggles is taken to the British lines and sold to the British for fifty pounds.  An officer tells Biggles “those stinking Arabs demanded fifty pounds for you or threatened to slit your throat there and then.  I couldn’t watch them do that even though you are a German, so I gave them a chit for fifty pounds which they will be able to cash at any British pay-office”.  Biggles pretends to be German and says his name is Leopold Brunow.  He is told he will be sent down the lines in the morning.  Biggles sees a curious thing.  Passing a tent he sees the shadow of a man tapping the ash off his cigarette with his forefinger and he is sure it is von Stalhein.  Later that night, Biggles is handed over to half a dozen Arabs to be taken down the lines.  “It struck Biggles as odd that a white man should be put in charge of natives, but he was in no position to argue”.  The sun is well up when they reach a wady (a footnote tells us that a wady, spelt here with a ‘y’ is a valley) and Biggles is left alone with a small package.  He opens it and finds that it “contained an ‘iron’ ration consisting of biscuits and a slab of chocolate, and a flask of water.  Attached to the flask by a rubber band was a sheet of notepaper on which had been written, in block letters, three words.  The message consisted of the single word, ‘Wait’.  It was signed, ‘A Friend’.  A two-seater Halberstadt lands, flown by Mayer from the German aerodrome at Zabala where Biggles himself is stationed.  Mayer then takes off with Biggles on board.