By Captain W. E. Johns



XI.                   BIGGLES SUMS UP  (Pages 111 - 123)


The final tally from the battle is 31 Japanese bombers down on the British side and several others observed to be losing height as they made for home.  The Medical Officer's report about Gray is in.  He can't find anything to account for the death and has ascribed it to heart failure.  Gray had not been drinking and there were no signs of poison or any self-inflicted wound.  Biggles says Gray was murdered.  Killed to prevent him talking.  Biggles says he knows what the secret weapon is.  "Only it isn't a weapon.  I'd call it a trick".  Biggles says they have to be careful as there are two angles to the job.  Firstly, to find the thing and secondly, to put a stop to it. "If once the enemy realises that we've rumbled his game he'll slide away like a ghost on roller skates, maybe to start again somewhere else with a variation of the racket".  Biggles shows Raymond the weapon.  It is a small bar of chocolate.  Biggles tells the story of his investigations.  "The first thing that struck me about this weapon was that the Japs had invented it.  The Japanese don't invent things - at least, not mechanical devices.  They're good at copying other people's".  The fact that the weapon effected only planes one way meant to Biggles that it was the result of something that started on the ground, not in the air.  "An aircraft in flight consists of three parts - the airframe, the motor, and the pilot.  The failure of any of these must result in the failure of the whole".   When Biggles flew from Jangpur to Chungking, he proved an unexpected pilot flying an unexpected plane could get through.  He thought a saboteur was at work at Jangpur and it was safe to assume the same was happening at Dum Dum.  After Johnny and Moorven swapped planes, Biggles suspected it was the pilot and not the aircraft, that was being tampered with.  After the business with Sergeant Gray, Biggles suspected a powerful narcotic.  Initially it was administered in chewing gum, but now it was in chocolate.  After Johnny was drugged, Biggles found on the floor of his plane the wrapping of a bar of chocolate, bearing the same name as that on the chewing-gum wrapper - Charneys, London.  But Johnny hadn't had the sense to mention the chocolate when Biggles was talking about chewing-gum to him.  Why the switch to chocolate?  The saboteur had realised that Johnny always got back because he didn't like chewing-gum, so to get him, he baited his machine with chocolate.