by Captain W. E. Johns



XIII.                         A THIEF TO CATCH A THIEF  (Pages 150 - 160)


At Police Headquarters, Biggles introduces himself and Algy to Major Grattan who is on duty.  They produce they special C.I.D. passes.  Grattan says "We've heard of you, of course.  That Abyssinian affair, which you cleaned up, made a bit of a stir in this part of the world".  Biggles says he wants the name and address of the cleverest housebreaker in Cairo.  As it happens, he is currently in the cells!  Arrested last night for loitering with intent.  Biggles asks if the man does a good job for them, if he could be let off with a caution.  The man is an Arab called Abdullah ibn Abu and he speaks English.  He is brought to see Biggles and Biggles explains that it is a private matter between them.  "It is a matter of opening a door that is locked".  Abdullah agrees to help and after borrowing Major Grattan's car they go back to the offices of Stellar Skyways.  Biggles explains that there must be no signs of their visit.  Abdullah picks the locks and they search the offices.  They find the trophies that Tug bought back and Biggles recognises the smell as the same as the stamps and notes he had back in Mount Street.  Opening up the stitches on a stuffed leopard's head reveals the stuffing to be five pound notes.  The leopard is addressed to General Sir Yardley-Simmonds, Barrington Hall, Leicester via Samuel Cassar & Co., Taxidermists, Bantock Place, London, EC4.  This is how the smuggling is done.  The taxidermists finalise the stuffing of the trophy and remove the money.  The addressees are all above suspicion.  Biggles takes a note of every name and address of every taxidermist on the trophies.  Abdullah locks up behind them and they return to Major Grattan's office where Abdullah is released.  Biggles and Algy return to Tug who has finished his report and Biggles updates it with the latest information.  Algy is sent home in their Mosquito to hand deliver the report to Air Commodore Raymond and tell him that Biggles is going to Kudinga.  Algy departs.