By Captain W. E. Johns



VII.                 BIGGLES INVESTIGATES  (Pages 66 - 78)


Biggles watches Japanese Mitsubishi bombers fly overhead.  "It was clear that if the secret weapon was still in operation the enemy planes were not affected, which proved that the thing was under control".  Three hours later Tug returns.  Angus has not recovered consciousness and is in hospital.  They fly back to Calcutta where the Gipsy Moth has been borrowed from and then taxi back to Dum Dum.  The report on Angus is that he is badly smashed up - broken arm, broken leg, three ribs stove in and concussion.  Biggles wants to talk to him as soon as he comes round.  "As far as we know, he's the first victim of the new weapon who has survived, or who has got back".  Biggles decides to speak to Johnny Crisp and Scrimshaw as "there is something unnatural about the way they always get back.  It can't be luck.  There must be a reason, and if we can put our finger on it we shall be half-way towards getting this thing buttoned up".  Biggles meets with Air Commodore Raymond who tells him that the last man who touched Tommy Moorven's machine was a Sergeant Gray.  Ginger is sent to fetch Crisp and Scrimshaw.  Scrimshaw tells Biggles he hears he went down and looked at Moorven.  Biggles asks who told him that and Scrimshaw remembers it was Lal Din, who served coffee after lunch.  Biggles says he told everyone not to discuss this thing in front of the staff.  Biggles says "What I'm trying to find out now is, what you two fellows did that Moorven did not do.  Conversely, what he did that you did not do."  Crisp and Scrimshaw go over what they did in explicit detail and Biggles finds out that Crisp and Moorven changed planes.  This was because Johnny Crisp thought someone was tinkering with the planes, but never his as he always got back.  Biggles thinks this rather goes to prove that the machine doesn't make any difference.  There are no clues as to what happened, even when the various pilots dropped out of the sky.  Both Crisp and Scrimshaw agree to be attached to Biggles squadron now they are the only two members of their squadron left.  Biggles tells Scrimshaw "Frankly, Scrimshaw, we haven't much confidence in fellows who grab a bottle when things get sticky".  Biggles says he's been through it himself more than once.  "I was going through it when you wore safety-pins instead of buttons, but I got over it - if I hadn't I shouldn't be here now.  If you go on ginning-up you'll be no use to yourself or anyone else".