By Captain W. E. Johns



XV.                 BIGGLES MAKES A CALL  (Pages 150 - 161)


It is nearly 11.00 pm when Biggles arrives at Mimosa Lodge, Razlet Avenue and calls on Mr. Larapindi, who is clearly a millionaire several times over.  Biggles, apologises for the lateness of his call and explains that he is the temporary Mess President of Dum Dum airfield and he understands that Mr. Larapindi was good enough to recommend Lal Din to work in the canteen.  Biggles says he was excellent but he is very ill with smallpox and is in isolation.  Biggles explains he was passing by and thought that Mr. Larapindi might be able to recommend another person as they are short-handed.  Mr. Larapindi says he knows of an experienced person and he will send him first thing in the morning.  Biggles says he once met Mr. Tahil and enquiries about his health and he is told the Mr. Tahil died from snake-bite whilst on the golf course.  Biggles sees on the wall a photograph of a Gull civil marine aircraft and comments on it.  Mr. Larapindi explains it belongs to the firm but it has been grounded for the duration of the war.  Biggles leaves and returns to the others in the truck and they then sit and wait.  From Larapindi's house an Indian servant is sent out.  Then an expensive touring car leaves the property.   Biggles and Co. follow it to the warehouse of Tahil and Larapindi.  They then see a taxi arrive with the Indian servant and another man - no doubt, Lal Din's replacement.  "I'm not interested in him" says Biggles.  "The man I want is Larapindi, and we've got to catch him handling the dope, or he'll slip through our fingers like a wet fish".  Ginger has brought tools for breaking in and the others are instructed to enter if they hear signs of trouble.  Biggles, Algy and Ginger enter the warehouse, which is filled with the warm, aromatic aroma of tea, spices, oilseeds and grain.