by Captain W. E. Johns



VIII.                        THE UNEXPECTED AGAIN  (Pages 99 - 107)


Biggles and the Skipper had safely returned to the camp.  Grimy is waiting with hot coffee for them.  They pack up the most valuable equipment but a lot will be left behind as unnecessary weight.  Biggles starts the engines on the plane but is unable to take off.  The landing skis have become frozen to the snow.  It is necessary to chip around the skis to unfreeze them and then put pieces of packing crates under them to prevent repetition.  After and hour and a half Biggles is ready to try again and take off.  Grimy signals Algy to come and help ship the gold.  Biggles lands by the hulk of the "Starry Crown"  but there is no sign of Ginger or the gold.  Biggles thinks it is most unlikely that he has gone back inside the hulk.  Biggles has the feeling that something has changed  but he can't decide what it is.  Biggles calls for Ginger but there is no reply.  Biggles checks the hulk but still no Ginger.  Taking out his pistol he fires in the air.  From far away out over the open sea came a faint report.  The Skipper says it is merely an echo.  The air is now too murky to fly in, otherwise Biggles would take the plane up to look for Ginger.  Biggles says "there must be an explanation of this.  We've got to find it".