by Captain W. E. Johns



VI.                   RECONNAISSANCE  (Pages 72 - 81)


Ginger and Bertie find the lodge is luxury hotel.  Four other guests are in residence.  Two wealthy Americans, a Frenchman from the Diplomatic Corps due to leave the next morning and a frail, eccentric, grey-bearded old man, thought be to be Czech, named Doctor Dorov.  He had been at the lodge for nearly a year and was intent on his one pursuit, ornithology.  He had a private sitting-room in which he often worked and where he kept his ever-growing collection of African birds.  He attended to preservation of the skins himself and sometimes sent specimens home.  Ginger and Bertie learn that hunting trophies are sent home free of charge.  An on site taxidermist make a temporary job and finishing touches and final setting was done at the company's natural history department in London, Paris or New York.  Viewing the native compound, Ginger hears two talking, not only in English but with American accents and slang.  He tells Bertie "Those blacks are no more natives than we are.  They're negroes imported from the United States".  Bertie and Ginger arrange to go hunting together the following day, near to the lodge.  Mr. Kreeze tells them they will only need one hunter and assigns Kisumo.  Bumping into Colonel Dupray, he asks Bertie and Ginger about officers of the Indian Army having to carry radio when on leave.  Kreeze has asked him about it and he has told him it is a load of nonsense.  The Colonel is on the General Headquarters Staff and would know.  Ginger is worried.  He tells Bertie that if Kreeze didn't suspect them before, he does now.