By Captain W. E. Johns



VIII.                        EVENTS AT CATABATO  (Pages 80 - 94)


Algy and Ginger are being held in a camp "which was not so much a prisoner-of-war camp on the lines usually adopted by civilized nations, as a concentration camp in which were herded indiscriminately civilians, soldiers, sailors and airmen of many nationalities".  Here they find General Barton who says the island is buzzing with rumours of a secret British squadron operating from Borneo.  Yashnowada has got scouts out looking for this base.  The General also says the main Japanese dump is here, stores, oil and ammunition, only 100 yards away from the camp.  The jungle drums start and a Philippino passes a message to the three men, "white men come" and "watch for message from the sky".  He also says "dump, she go bang pretty soon" so they all drift to side of the camp furthest away.  Suddenly there is a parachute flare and the dump is bombed and blown up.  A sack is dropped into the camp with guns and wire-cutters and the message "Cut your way out and take the road up the hill.  B."   In all the confusion of the raid, Algy cuts his way out of the camp and a whole group of people escape.  Shots are fired at Japanese guards and the escape is fairly easy.  Up the hill, Ginger finds Bertie sitting smoking on a boulder.  He tells them various people are here.  Jackson has gone to get his girl and Rex and Suba are around with his war drum.  Biggles arrives with Jackson and the two white women and starts to plan to get everyone away.  There are about 40 people in Algy and Ginger's party.  The group move to a mangrove swamp where Angus Mackail waits with the amphibian aircraft and a pearling lugger in tow to carry everyone.  The two women, General Barton, Rex, Jackson, Suba, Algy, Ginger and two men who have been wounded get in the plane and Biggles is at the controls.  Everyone else is in the boat.  Biggles sets off towing the boat across the calm sea.