by Captain W. E. Johns



XIII.                         A MEMORABLE NIGHT  (Pages 151 – 165)


“Ginger never forgot that drive.  His arm ached unmercifully”.  He drives to the harbour and see’s Jock’s car as he has left it.  Ginger parks up then finds the dinghy and rows over to the prison ship “as quickly as his wounded arm would allow”.  He lets out a hail and is allowed to board the ship.  There are two sentries with rifles and bayonets fixed.  They don’t speak English.  Ginger gives them the letter that Goudini was forced to write.  “The sentry, who, like most Spanish sentries, appeared to take his duties easily” offers Gingers a cigarette and taps Ginger’s Legionnaire uniform.  Ginger is taken down a corridor to room fourteen and there are Biggles and Algy lying on rough mattresses.  Both prisoners are handcuffed to a chain fastened to the wall.  Ginger pretends to interrogate the prisoners, knowing that the sentry doesn’t speak English.  He asks what to do about the chains and Biggles tells him the sentry has the key on his bunch of keys.  Ginger hits the sentry over his head with the butt of his automatic and knocks him out.  (The butt of Ginger’s automatic crashed down on the back of his head - is the illustration on page 157).  Biggles goes for the keys.  “It was typical of him that he wasted no words on thanks or congratulations that might turn out to be premature”.  Ginger gives Biggles Goudini’s gun and Algy takes the unconscious sentry’s rifle.  Ginger returns to the other sentry on deck and points a gun in his face.  Biggles and Algy then follow on and they all depart the ship in the dinghy, taking the sentry with them.  Reaching Jock’s car, they let the sentry go and Biggles drive off, back towards the aerodrome.  Ginger collapses into Algy’s arms.  On the journey, Biggles stops to get brandy for Ginger and food for them all.  They exchange stories and Biggles asks about Frazer’s letter.  Ginger explains he has given it to “a Scotch pilot fighting for the Republicans”, called Jock McLannoch.  Driving back to the aerodrome, Ginger sees Cy Harkwell and asks about the whereabouts of Jock only to be shocked when he is told that Jock was shot down yesterday on the enemy side of the lines.