by Captain W. E. Johns



IX.                   WHAT HAPPENED ON THE ICE  (Pages 92 - 106)


As the fog starts to lift, Biggles and Ginger see the whaler about a mile away.  They are spotted and a boat is lowered and comes over to them.  Biggles says "They're Nazis all right - just look at those faces, and those square heads.  I've never been able to decide whether Nazis are born with something in their mentality that gives them faces like that, or whether it is something they acquire".  The leader of the men in the boat is Leutnant Thom.  He asks what they are doing there.  "We're waiting to be picked up" answered Biggles.  Biggles asks him if he has heard the war is over.  But it is not over for Thom and without warning he punches Biggles in the stomach and in the face, knocking him unconscious.  Blood pours from his nose onto the ice.  Ginger and a still unconscious Biggles are taken back to the whaler.  Biggles comes round and guesses they are bound for Corbie Island and by dawn, that is where they arrive.  To his intense disappointment, Biggles sees the U-boat, it appears the vessel has been damaged and is being repaired.  "Von Schonbeck is here," Biggles tells Ginger, "The next few minutes should be quite exciting".  The prisoners are taken to meet the Nazi submarine commander who introduces himself as Captain von Schonbeck of the German Navy.  Biggles says there is no German Navy and he is only a common pirate.  Von Schonbeck asks if Biggles is the man who damaged his submarine and Biggles says that he was.  Biggles finds out the submarine is only damaged and will be repaired in 24 hours.  Von Schonbeck says that when he has finished with Biggles, he will be shot.  Biggles and Ginger are returned to the cabin there were held in previously.  Biggles says the only reason that von Schonbeck hasn't shot them is that they possess information that he is desperate to know.  Biggles stops Ginger talking about Algy in case anyone is listening.  Biggles says that when the submarine is ready to travel it will go and that's when the showdown will come as far as they are concerned.