By Captain W. E. Johns



X.                    FEE WONG COMES BACK  (Page 102 - 111)


An intriguing chapter title as there has been no mention of any character called "Fee Wong" up to this point!  An hour after the Nakajima fighter leaves, a British machine, an amphibian of the Saro Cloud type arrives with three officers.  An RAF Wing-Commander, a Chinese man and a Flight-Lieutenant of the Royal Australian Air Force (the pilot).  Biggles says to Algy "Most Chinamen look alike to me, but I've got an idea I've seen that chap in the blue nightshirt before.  Surely he was one of the people we rescued from Cotabato?"  The Wing-Commander introduces himself as Crane, Liaison Intelligence in Australia.  "What's the idea of bring John Chinaman back here?  I should have thought he'd seen enough of Borneo".  The Wing-Commander explains that Fee Wong, the Chinese gentleman, was in business with his brother in the timber business.  He is aware that the Japanese are moving an enormous quantity of rubber and tin from the western side of the Malayan Peninsula at Penang to the eastern side in hundreds of barges.  The barges will use the River Limpur.  Biggles is asked to fly Fee Wong to Telapur where he will meet with his brother Ah Wong and get the native Malays and Chinese coolies sabotage the Japanese transports.  The barges can't move very far until the rains come and that is not due for another two weeks.  The journey is just within the range of the Cayman amphibian but Biggles thinks the chances of pretty small of the pilot getting back, even if he gets there.  He volunteers to do it.  "You don't think I'd ask a junior officer to take on a show like this, do you?  I'll go."  Ginger asks Algy "Why does Biggles have to do these jobs himself?".  Algy says "Because, although he wouldn't admit it, he knows just how dangerous they are, and he's got a curious sort of complex about asking anyone to undertake a mission that might cost a bloke his life.  He finds it easier to do that thing himself".   "I think it's time we protested" declared Ginger, "One of these days he won't come back - and then what?"  (I wonder if this line gave W. E. Johns the idea for his next book - Biggles 'Fails to Return'?).  Algy and Ginger ask to be allowed to go with Biggles and he does allow it.  As they board the  Cayman plane, Biggles glances at the setting sun and says he doesn't like the look of the mist forming.  "I've got a feeling it means a change of weather".