By Captain W. E. Johns



VII.                 BIGGLES HEARS THE NEWS  (Pages 69 - 80)


Bertie, having seen Algy crash has raced back to Lucky Strike to inform Biggles.  Flying to the scene Biggles spots a trail of oil and guesses there was a submarine there.  He is fired on from the island base so realises Japanese forces are there.  Returning to Lucky Strike, Biggles asks if Suba will go in an aeroplane.  Rex says "Oh, yes, he'd go with you - particularly if he thought there were a few heads to be picked up.  These savages are queer birds.  Their brains don't work as our do.  Everything a white man has is marvellous and there it ends".  Biggles wants to try and capture a prisoner from the island to find out what has happened to Algy and Ginger.  The Liberator returns at 1.00 am and with it comes a Cayman which looks like a flying boat on wheels.  Taffy is ordered to return in the Liberator to Australia to keep the fuel coming.  Biggles, Bertie, Rex, Jackson (who speaks Japanese), Suba and another native named Kalut set off in the Cayman and land unobserved in the sea around the island where Algy and Ginger crashed.  Suba and Kalut go and capture a Japanese soldier.  (There is an interesting continuity error at the bottom of page 79 and top of page 80.  Biggles says "Jackson, you speak to the Japanese, ask him what happened to the two white men" yet a few lines later "Rex spoke to the Jap, who answered readily".  That said, it had been established earlier in the chapter that Rex spoke some Japanese!).  They find out Algy and Ginger have been taken to Cotabato.