by Captain W. E. Johns



II.                    FIRST OBJECTIVE  (Pages  22 - 33)


Ten days later a flying boat, later identified as one of the Navigator class, an eight-seater high-wing amphibious flying-boat fitted with twin Ursus Major air-cooled engines and long-range tanks for overseas work, lands at the headwaters of the Rio Parana in South America.  The trip has taken a lot of organisation.  Inquiries have been made about Paradise Valley "at the London offices of each of the countries in which it might be situated, namely, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.  In every case the reply was the same.  Nothing was known of such a place".  Biggles has taken Air Commodore Raymond into his confidence but he cannot support officially any private scheme for the rescue of the inhabitants, British or otherwise, of Paradise Valley without more evidence, but he was prepared "to let Biggles take a holiday for a couple of weeks".  Biggles has to bear the cost of the expedition himself.  "The work of the British Air Police, which had been international in its application, had not passed unnoticed by the press and police forces of other countries, and as Biggles was known to have been associated with it he could rely on co-operation abroad provided he did not exceed reasonable limits".  A significant amount of petrol and oil has been taken with them to avoid unnecessary questions if asking for too much petrol.  In a small secret compartment are stored four automatics and ammunition.  "Biggles didn't like the idea of doing this even though his conscience was satisfied that he was justified; but there was no alternative".  Getting shore and clearing an area for a tent, our heroes set up base came in this remote area.  Biggles says their first job is to find out if Angus is alive if he is, the next thing will be to get him away.  Biggles says he intends to call on Dr. Liebgarten as it is not really known if he is a villain.  "I'm not going to crawl into the place like a housebreaker, or crash into it like a commando".  Biggles plans to go in with Ginger, Algy can fly them closer and Bertie can stay and guard their camp.  They cast off from the bank and the Navigator aircraft takes off.