by Captain W. E. Johns



IV.                   STELLAR SKYWAYS INCORPORATED  (Pages 46 - 58)


Arriving at Delmar, the abandoned air force station and finding an officer named Crane in charge, our heroes settle in.  Ginger reminds Biggles that he was going to tell them more about Stellar Airways.  The company is registered in Lichtenstein (between Germany and Switzerland).  It was originally Stellar Tours but it was acquired by a new holding company a few months ago.  It now runs air tours and a private charter service.  It doesn't own a single airfield but "like the cuckoo it uses other birds' nests".  The main tour they run is called "The Old World Tour" and is a circular trip between Casablanca, Cairo, Baghdad, Istanbul and certain European capitals, including London.  The company also operates "The Hunters' Tour" at Kudinga in Central Africa and this is where Brigadier-General Carding was killed.  This tour is served by planes coming in from Dakar, Casablanca and Cairo.  Ginger goes to fetch the developed film taken from the camera that Tug picked up.  It contains photos of their front door in Mount Street and of Biggles himself.  There is also a shot of an unknown man standing by an aircraft, a Parkington Pacemaker.  Biggles comes up with a plan.  He sends Tug to go to a London hotel and then advertise his services as a pilot in the London daily papers.  Biggles suspects that Stellar Skyways want more pilots.  Bertie and Ginger are to fly to Cairo and to pose as Indian Army officers on leave out for some big game hunting.  Their job is to get to Kudinga and see what is going on.  Ginger suggests they take a portable radio transmitter in a suitcase.  Biggles thinks it's risky but agrees.  Biggles and Algy have both been seen by Robinson so Biggles thinks they may take the Old World Tour, boarding somewhere in the Middle East.