By Captain W. E. Johns



V.                    BERTIE MEETS A FRIEND  (Pages 65 - 79)


After Ginger left, Algy and Bertie toss a coin to see who goes where.  Algy goes to Nice and Bertie to Monte Carlo.  Here he sees Ginger in the distance but before he can make contact, he is recognised by a former employee, a mechanic named Francois Budette, who used to service his motor boat, the 'Bluebird' before the war.  Bertie tries to get away from him but is followed and accousted.  Francois is the ugly looking boatman that Ginger saw and he is very pleased to see his old employer, Bertie, who he called "milord".  Going back to Francois's house, Bertie takes him into his confidence, telling him why they are there.  Francois knows the local gossip about the hunt for a spy and also remembers seeing a girl in a blue shawl writing on the wall behind the Quai de Plaisance.  Francois goes out to see the writing again and gives the message to Bertie - "CHEZ ROSSI.  PERNOD".  Francois knows of Mario Rossi, the owner of the restaurant and says it is rumoured he is a Camorrista, a member of a secret society, and handy with a knife.  Francois goes to the Chez Rossi restaurant but find outs very little so Bertie then goes.  Asking for Mario he is told he is out on business.  Bertie hears shooting and hangs around outside the restaurant.  He later sees a bloodied Mario return.  Francois comes to find Bertie to tell him that Gaspard Zabani, the man who betrayed the Princess has been murdered, and that his friend Ginger, is being hunted as the main suspect.