BIGGLES IN SPAIN
Book First Published in May 1939 - 256 pages
This story was first published, in eleven parts, as WINGS OVER SPAIN in Modern Boy, issues 49 to 59, dated 21st January 1939 to 1st April 1939
Biggles is on a cruise after being advised by his doctor that he needs a rest. Algy and Ginger are travelling with him. To their surprise, the ship is attacked and sunk off the coast of Spain. Biggles, Algy and Ginger swim to the shore and find themselves in Barcelona. Going for a drink in a bar-restaurant called 'Casa Reposada' turns out to be a big mistake. Our heroes are plunged into espionage when a man called Fraser, who Biggles once met, gives him a coded document that must be taken to the British Foreign Office. Fraser is killed by a hunchback called Goudini just as Biggles, Algy and Ginger escape through the back entrance. Here they are given a lift by a mysterious man who takes them to a hotel and then pulls a gun on them. Some quick thinking and a little luck allows Biggles to trick the stranger and hand over just the envelope. The stranger leaves only to be shot dead by Goudini. Goudini searches Biggles, Algy and Ginger and when he cannot find the document, he arrests all three of them. Imprisoned in a cell in an army barracks, Biggles persuades an American soldier fighting for the Spanish to get them a file. With this they all escape and return to where the document has been hidden. However, it is all a clever trap and Biggles and Algy are again arrested while Ginger escapes with the document. Ginger is disguised as a soldier and accidentally finds himself being loaded onto a troop transporter to the front line trenches in the Spanish Civil War where he is expected to fight against General Franco's fascist Spanish troops. Here he befriends a cockney called Fred Summers. Ginger is forced to spend some days in the trenches as deserters are shot. However, he is able to save the life of a pilot who he sees being shot down. This pilot is called Jock McLannoch and after hearing that Ginger is also a pilot he makes arrangements to have him transferred from the front line to his squadron. Ginger is looking for a chance to return to Barcelona to find out what has become of Biggles and Algy. Taking Jock into his confidence, Ginger finds out that Biggles and Algy have been tried and sentenced to be shot. Ginger gives Jock the vital document and sets off to Barcelona to try to rescue Biggles and Algy. This he successfully does after some considerable adventures, which include shooting Goudini. Returning to Jock's aerodrome with Biggles and Algy, they find that Jock has been shot down. Biggles and Algy steal a captured Caproni aeroplane whilst Ginger has to fly in a separate aircraft with his squadron. Confusion and mistake lead to Ginger being shot down by another Caproni aircraft. Biggles and Algy land to try to help Ginger but are captured by Franco's troops and held in a prisoner of war camp. Ginger, who has parachuted to safety, infiltrates his way into the prisoner of war camp, with the help of Fred Summers, who has also been captured by the Spanish. Ginger had helped Fred get away from his work party. Fred tells Ginger that Jock is also in the prisoner of war camp. With a pair of wire cutters, Ginger gets everybody out, Biggles, Algy, Fred, Jock and himself. Biggles then hi-jacks a car being driven by two Spanish officers and he has their uniforms off them as well. Driving to a Spanish aerodrome, Biggles and his party are able to steal another Caproni. There then follows a desperate flight to France, being chased by Spanish fighters, with Biggles just making it over the border. The document is later safely delivered to the Foreign Officer but Biggles doesn't even get to find out what it contained!
Biggles in Spain
Publication Details - published by Oxford University Press
The spine and cover illustrations from the original Oxford first edition
Click on the above to see it in more detail