A Story of Sergeant Bigglesworth C.I.D. and his Special Air Police


by Captain W. E. Johns


Published in August 1948








In this book Biggles is introduced as "Sergeant Bigglesworth, D.S.O., D.F.C., M.C., one time of the Royal Air Force". Algy, Bertie and Ginger return to the Mount Street apartments their share with Biggles to find him examining stamps. It is interesting to note that Bertie is still limping from the bullet wound in the thigh sustained in the affair of the stolen German Prototype and a footnote tells us to * "see Sergeant Bigglesworth, C.I.D." (What is particularly interesting is that the book "Biggles' Second Case" was published in August 1948 at the same time as this book but there was no mention of Bertie limping in that book, or indeed, any reference to his wound at all. One therefore wonders if Johns wrote this book first? But then Biggles' Second Case would have been Biggles' Third Case!). Biggles says "It may interest you to know that I've always wanted to collect stamps. As a kid at school it was a secret passion with me. I was saving up my pocket-money to start collecting when some perisher started a war, and I haven't had a chance since .......... when the brass-hats turf me out to graze on a pension, I'm going in for stamps in a big way." Biggles interest in the particular stamp he has at the moment is that it is a perfect forgery of a French one franc fifty centimes stamp. Biggles then produces a perfect forgery of a British ten shilling note. Biggles explains that this morning, he and Air Commodore Raymond were called to a special meeting in Whitehall where every Government department of importance was represented. They were there for Scotland Yard. It is suspected there must be a Big Crime Boss behind such a well organised racket and they have the power to bribe and corrupt. "Play with us and grow rich, say the crooks. Play against us and we will bust you wide open. And that is no idle threat. The gang becomes an octopus with arms radiating out from the central brain. To cut off one arm does little good. The others continue to flourish and nourish the creature. The only way such a beast can be killed is by giving it the iron straight between the eyes. To destroy the thing you must destroy the brain." The Government has passed the problem to Scotland Yard and as Raymond is of the opinion that aircraft from the mainspring of the business, he has pushed the job onto Biggles and his team. As usual, he has given them a free hand. "Where are we going to start?" asks Ginger. "That is what I was wondering when you came in" replies Biggles only to be interupted by a knock on the door. Biggles asks Bertie and Ginger to go into the bedroom to make it less of a crowd and invites his visitor in. A man with a bowler hat and furled umbrella enters the room.