BIGGLES IN SPAIN
by Captain W. E. Johns
XI. BACK TO BARCELONA (Pages 131 – 139)
Ginger says he has to go to Barcelona, which is some fifty miles away. McLannoch says they will be in the San Christophe; all the political prisoners go there. It’s a ship in the harbour. Ginger asks to borrow McLannoch’s car and pistol and Ginger gives him the letter for safe keeping. Ginger asks McLannoch to try to get it through to the Foreign Office if he doesn’t come back. McLannoch says he will give Ginger three days then fly it across the frontier (with France) and deliver it. The door opens and another legionnaire enters, with wings on his left breast. He is an American named Cy Harkwell and Ginger is introduced. Ginger goes to the car, an old Renault saloon, and agrees to leave it by the Columbus statue in Barcelona. Ginger drives to Barcelona trying to think of some rescue plan, but can’t. He remembers as a boy just associating Barcelona with nuts as he had eaten thousands. Ginger knows Goudini wants the letter. “Would he be justified in handing the letter, vital to his own country’s interests (of that he had no doubt) to a potential enemy in order to save the lives of his best friends, friends who meant more to him than the rest of the world?” Making his way to the harbour, using the Columbus statute as a guide, Ginger parks at the foot of it. Jock McLannoch had told him that the San Christophe was in the harbour the way Columbus was looking and Ginger recognise the silhouette of a two-funnelled ship from the description he had been given. Ginger sees a dinghy leave the ship with three men in it. Two of the men walk along the quay and Ginger recognises one of them as Goudini – “his dwarf, mis-shapen form was unmistakable”. They walk to a car at the foot of the Columbus statute and then the unknown man leaves. As Goudini goes to get into the car, Ginger presses the muzzle of the automatic into the small of his back. “Just a moment, Senor Goudini, if you don’t mind,” he said softly.