BIGGLES TAKES A HOLIDAY
by Captain W. E. Johns
III. PARADISE VALLEY (Pages 33 - 44)
Flying to the Polito river, our heroes then fly upsteam until they find signs of habitation. Finding poultry farms and allotments, they conclude this must be Paradise Valley and Algy lands the Navigator on the river about three miles away. Algy's instructions are to wait until 5.00 pm and then fly back to Bertie and return in the morning at first light. Biggles and Ginger get out on the bank and find a path that runs into the Valley. "The going was neither easy nor pleasant, for the undergrowth was soaking wet. The ground a slippery mixture of mud and slime and the atmosphere that of a turkish bath". Eventually Biggles and Ginger come to an occupied hut and find a man working the soil. Biggles speaks to him and finds out he is Joe Clarke, a former Naval Chief Petty Officer, who has been there over three years. He is there with his wife and Biggles asks him about Linton. "If I remember right the golliw*gs (See comments in red below) got him - so we were told at the time", says Clarke. "Golliw*gs?" queries Biggles. (See comments in red below). "That's what we call those dirty little rats who live in the jungle. They ain't human" says Clarke. Clarke says that although he has heard of Angus Mackail, he doesn't know if he is dead or alive. Biggles takes Clarke into his confidence and says the "golliw*gs" (The word “golliw*gs” appears three times in this book, with all occurrences being in this chapter. The word “w*g” appears twice in this book, with both occurrence’s being in Chapter 10, “The River of Doubt”. The use of these words are obviously highly offensive, but they were not considered to be when the book was originally published for children in 1949. Surprisingly, these words remained in all editions of the book, up to and including the ‘House of Stratus’ paperback published in 2001) didn’t get Linton, he got away but died later from what he picked up on the trip. Biggles tells Clarke he'll be seeing him again and carries on with his journey. The next people Biggles and Ginger meet are an Italian family with children, all clad in rags and looking ill. Next they come across a line of nine men working and being supervised by a black man with a pony. Biggles asks the men if any are "Britishers" and whether they want to leave. Two respond. The black man rides away on the pony and Biggles says he is going to see his boss, Doctor Liebgarten and that is where they are going.