by Captain W. E. Johns



 IX.                  WHAT HAPPENED TO ALGY  (Pages 111 – 123)


When Briny has not returned by daybreak, Biggles makes immediate arrangements for a search.  Biggles and Algy decide to look for Briny by flying in separate directions, leaving an exhausted Ginger to sleep.  Biggles heads south-west in the Willie-Willie and Algy heads south-east in the Didgeree-du.  Algy climbs to 5,000 feet and begins to search.  His search area takes him near to the sandbank they landed on yesterday.  Algy decides to look there, in case Briny had been driven onto it.  He sees a figure run onto the beach and flying low, recognises it as Briny.  Landing, Briny explains that he had swum there after running out of petrol and the boat being nearly swamped.  Briny says he has seen the German liner Leipzig and she has run aground.  Briny has also found a building like an aircraft hangar near the edge of the water and he says it is deserted.  Algy thinks that this building must be a secret supply depot and it would account for the German notice forbidding people to land that Ginger had told them about.  Algy gets Briny in the aircraft and taxies the mile to where this building is, a large shed, covering nearly half an acre.  The building has no windows so Algy and Briny climb on the roof and look through the skylights.  Algy sees torpedoes and oil drums and guesses it is a German naval depot for submarines.  Algy and Briny fly back to base and on the way, Briny spots some wreckage.  Unquestionably, it is the wreckage of an aeroplane.  Algy sees the circular red, white and blue nationality mark of a British aircraft and lands to discover it is the wreck of the Willie-Willie - Biggles machine!  The machine is in a mangled state and the engine has been removed as salvage. Algy returns to base and asks where “Mr. Hebblethwaite” (Ginger) is.  The Flight-Sergeant doesn’t know and says he hasn’t seen him for a couple of hours or more.  Algy says the C.O. is missing and he, Algy, is now in command.  He orders a torpedo to be put on his aircraft and a thorough search to be made for Mr. Hebblethwaite.