by Captain W. E. Johns



IV.           A DISCONCERTING DISCOVERY  (Pages 57 – 67)


Nearly three weeks have now passed and Biggles has agreed to undertake the flight with Kadar provided his father was prepared to pay the expenses.  Fuel and stores have been sent to their proposed base at Semphis by caravan.  They had heard nothing further from Zarwan.  (A map of Libya and Egypt, showing the Libyan desert - is the illustration on page 59).  After flying over miles of desert, Biggles lands the Tourer at the Oasis at Semphis, which is between two and three miles long and about half a mile wide.  The heat, even in the shade, is intense.  After wandering around, Ginger returns to the aircraft and smells petrol.  They have a leak in the main tank.  They discover a hole in the bottom of the main tank which Biggles plugs with chewing gum and then puts an adhesive plaster from the medicine chest over it.  Biggles thinks they now only have enough petrol for about an hour’s flying and they had to fly over the desert for three hours to get there.  They will be alright when the caravan with the petrol arrives – if it arrives.  Kadar says it is an unfortunate accident, but Biggles says the hole was made with a pointed instrument and that couldn’t happen by accident.