BIGGLES FLIES NORTH

Book First Published in May 1939 - 256 pages

This story was first published, in nine parts, as BIGGLES FLIES NORTH in Modern Boy, issues 23 to 31, dated 23rd July 1938 to 17th September 1938

 

Answering a call for help by letter from an old friend, Biggles, Algy, Ginger and Smyth fly to Fort Beaver in Canada. Here they intend to meet up with Wilks, or Captain Wilkinson of 187 Squadron as he used to be known. Wilks has started a small airline business called 'Arctic Airways' but is now having problems with a man named 'Brindle' Jake McBain and his cronies. On arrival, Biggles finds Wilks is missing and immediately crosses swords with McBain who is "sharing" Wilks' aerodrome, but in reality is really an unwanted trespasser. Flying off to find Wilks, our heroes find he has made a forced landing due to sabotage. Returning to Fort Beaver, Biggles and Ginger go into the small settlement to buy supplies. At the 'Three Star Saloon' they meet Mose, the partner of Angus Stirling who sold Wilks the land for his aerodrome. Stirling still has the title deed that Wilks needs to get McBain off his land. Mose tells them that Stirling is far north at Eskimo Island and Biggles offers to fly Mose up so that they can collect the important title deed. Arrangements are made but Mose is later found mysteriously murdered. Biggles and Ginger fly north to Moose Creek, taking supplies up to a gold prospecting company and then on to Eskimo Island, but they are attacked by a Weinkel transport plane armed with a machine gun. Ginger brings the plane down by throwing a 20lb box of corned beef at it, killing two of McBain's cronies. However, Biggles' plane has been holed in the fuel tank and he is forced to land in the frozen wastes. Here Biggles and Ginger are attacked by a Polar Bear but saved by Angus Stirling. Whilst unloading supplies from the grounded plane, there is another attack from the air. Algy and Wilks arrive, looking for Biggles and Ginger, but they are shot down. Using the petrol from Algy's plane, after mending the hole in the tank, everybody is able to fly south again. Angus stays, but he gives Wilks the important title deed. He also gives Biggles Mose's gold stash or 'poke' in order for it to be passed on to Mose's daughter. Biggles intends to pick up a gold shipment at Moose Creek and take it back down to Fort Beaver, but he finds that McBain has been allowed to take it. Knowing that McBain plans to steal the gold, Biggles catches his aircraft up and follows him. McBain lands at a remote cabin before returning to Fort Beaver to hand over lead filled boxes. When Biggles and Co. land at Fort Beaver, the Canadian Police speak to them and they find Mose's poke. Biggles, Algy and Wilks are arrested for the murder of Mose. Ginger escapes arrest by flying off in their aircraft and Smyth, who sees what happens later, manages to get away to try to find help. Biggles, Algy and Wilks are taken into Fort Beaver where McBain incites the locals to lynch them for the murder of Mose. Things turn very ugly and they all have to fight for their lives with the help of the Officer who has arrested them. Ginger flies to McBain's cabin and finds trouble there, before he eventually finds the stolen gold. Ginger also finds evidence that McBain murdered Mose. Ginger flies back to Fort Beaver and lands just as Biggles, Algy and Wilks are about to be hanged. With the evidence he has found, Ginger saves his friends and McBain gets his comeuppance.

 

Click here to see the story illustrations from the original HARDBACK first edition of this book

 

Biggles Flies North

Publication Details - published by Oxford University Press

 

The spine and cover illustrations from the original Oxford first edition

 

There are actually three different versions of the spine for this book.  The original first edition is on the left, where Johns is credited as “Capt. W. E. Johns” and the name is split over two lines.

 

Frontispiece

Click on the above to see it in more detail

 

 

The “Hampton Library” reprint – click on the above picture to find out more details 

 

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