by Captain W. E. Johns



XI.                   MOVE AND COUNTER-MOVE  (Pages 136 - 146)


Biggles says "That piece of ice on which we piled the gold must have been there for years, but it had chosen to-day, of all days, to break off.  Yesterday it wouldn't have mattered.  To-morrow it wouldn't have mattered, either.  But no.  It had to be to-day, at the very hour Ginger decided to sit on it".  Biggles decides to move camp back to where they were before.  He guesses that Lavinsky will try to find Larsen and get him to say where the gold is.  Biggles says "our first job is to locate the gold" but recognises that Larsen can't be left behind.  "The wretched fellow must be got home somehow - but we'll have to deal with that later on".  They fly the mile or two eastward and Ginger sends a signal to Algy.  After landing they mark out a landing ground for Algy and Bertie and mark it will black smoke from oily rags.  Algy and Bertie soon arrive and Biggles narrates what has happened since their arrival on the White Continent.  Biggles asks the Skipper and Grimy to take turns watching the enemy camp and then takes off with Ginger to try and find the ice flow with the gold on it.  Ginger sees the floe as soon as they take off, certainly it is one of the correct shape.  They fly in closer and Ginger sees a stick he had placed on the pile of gold.  Biggles suspects the ice is drifting back towards the main pack.  Biggles lands whilst Ginger keeps an eye on "what must have been the most valuable piece of ice ever to float on the surface of the sea".  Biggles sets up two trail sticks and lines them up with the ice floe and spends some minutes watching it.  "It's coming in" he concludes.  "Meanwhile we can occupy the time by having something to eat".