By Captain W. E. Johns



XVII.                       PLAN FOR ESCAPE  (Pages 197 - 207)


There is a sweet reunion for Henri and his family, who he had not seen for three years.  Bertie reports on the information he has found out and adds "a Wop told Francois the squadron leaves tomorrow for a secret destination".  Biggles says that if they are to do anything it has to be tonight.  Biggles sets out his plan.  He and Ginger will be driven back to Monaco at midnight to see Francois and then to steal one of the Italian flying boats.  They will get Francois to sail to Cap Martin to pick everyone up in his boat.  Mario will return to Castillon and then take everyone to Cap Martin at 2.30 am precisely.  There they will meet with the boat and sail to a point two miles off where thee flying boat will pick them up.  At a few minutes to three the moon will be coming up.  This means it will be dark to steal the plane, but they will have the moonlight to help them find the boat.  Lucille, the donkey, who has been fed and watered will be turned loose to browse on the hills till someone picks her up.  Just before midnight, Biggles, Ginger and Mario set off.  Arriving at Francois house, they knock and he opens the door in his nightshirt.  Biggles puts him at his ease by explaining who they are.  Francois is happy to sail out and carry out his part of Biggles plan.  At 2.40 am Biggles and Ginger swim towards the lead flying boat.