by Captain W. E. Johns



VI.           GINGER GETS A SHOCK  (Pages 122 – 131)


Ginger has had a sleepless night and gone “early to Biggles’s room with a cup of tea as an excuse, in the hope of hearing that he had changed his plans”.  Biggles is going to go to the meeting at Aix-la-Chapelle and tells Ginger if he doesn’t come back there is a letter in the top drawer of his desk to go to Colonel Raymond at Scotland Yard.  Biggles goes off to Lombard Street, while Ginger and Smyth get the now repaired Cormorant ready for him.  They also fill the tanks of Stella’s Falcon aircraft.  Biggles’s Bentley draws up and he gets in the Cormorant and sets off.  Ginger then runs over to the Falcon just as Stella arrives.  Ginger tells her he is making sure that her aircraft is all right as some mice might have got into it.  He says that he won’t be long.  He then takes off after Biggles.  He gets to Aix-la-Chapelle and finds the relevant field where there are two aeroplanes.  A dark green monoplane is taking off and Biggles Cormorant is left on fire.  Ginger lands and runs to it but “even at thirty yards he could smell his clothes scorching, and feel the skin blistering on his face”.  To his horror he sees a left arm hanging down outside the burning cockpit.  “A fierce anger swept over him, a burning hatred such as he could never have imagined, a fury that made him tremble like a leaf, and sent him, ice-cold, towards the still purring Falcon.  One thing mattered now, one thing only: revenge.  The word rang in his ears like a bell as he climbed into the cockpit and pushed the throttle open savagely”.  He takes off and sees the green monoplane far away heading eastward.