BIGGLES FLIES SOUTH

 

by Captain W. E. Johns

 

 

I.              THE MOONLIGHT ASSASSIN  (Pages 21 – 34)

 

Major James Bigglesworth is with Ginger and Algy in Cairo, Egypt.  They have arrived from England in a new ‘Tourer’ twin-engined sports aeroplane.  “The reason for the trip was quite a prosaic one.  Major Mullen, Biggles’s old C.O. in Number 266 Squadron, R. F. C., now a high official in South African civil aviation, had conceived the idea of a Squadron Reunion Dinner; but as many of the old members of the Squadron were now in Africa, in his service, it was decided that it would be more convenient for the majority if the dinner was held in Capetown instead of London”.  As they have plenty of time, Ginger wants to divert to Jerusalem, but Biggles declines and says they should push on to Khartoum tomorrow.  As they sit on their hotel terrace, Ginger sees a white-robed figure of a native creeping alone the inside of a wall.  Ginger “had travelled far, and in strange lands, and the mere unexpected appearance of a soft-footed native no longer aroused in him the instinctive suspicion, and possible apprehension, that it does in most Europeans when first they find themselves in a land where the native population is ‘coloured’ ”.  Ginger sees something glint on the man’s hand and realizes that another person is about to enter the gate and be attacked.  Ginger shouts a warning and man entering is able to ward off what would have been a deadly blow.  The attacker runs away.  Biggles and Algy join Ginger and find the victim has a slashed sleeve and bloodstained hand.  Biggles gives him medical attention and the man says that he was coming to the hotel to see Biggles.  The man introduces himself as Kadar Alloui Bey and he says he wants to buy Biggles’s aeroplane.  Kadar says he knows the aircraft is worth eight thousand pounds but he would be prepared to pay ten.  Biggles declines but offers it to be chartered for a few days.  Kadar declines as a few days will not be enough for his quest.  Curious, Biggles invites Kadar to tell them all about it.