by Captain W. E. Johns



IV.                   BIGGLES MAKES A CALL  (Pages 47 - 61)


Back in Aden, Zahar has already been taken home in a car borrowed from the aerodrome.  Biggles discusses things with Jerry Norman at his club as he now needs to find Hamud.  "It's a queer thought, but if what Raymond says about this stuff is true the fate of western civilisation may rest on a handful of seeds."  Norman tells Biggles that Hamud had been seen with a man called Nicolo Ambrimos, nicknamed "The Sultan", a very successful local business man, rumoured to have made money from dabbling in "honey", the local name for hashish.  Biggles asks what is Ambrimos' nationality and is told that it is anyone guess.  Norman thinks he is a Levantine of very mixed parentage but he speaks English very well and claims he was at Oxford.  "The Sultan" has spies everywhere.  Biggles suggests that the man to make enquiries about Hamud is probably Zahar as that won't raise suspicions.  Biggles plans to go and see Ambrimos and pretend to be part of an oil prospecting outfit.  Making his way to the Villa el Paloma in the Stretta Fontana, Biggles finds it is a lavishly decorated and imposing place.  When he meets Ambrimos, to his astonishment he is greeted as "Major Bigglesworth" and asked "So you are thinking of looking for an oil concession in the district?".  Ambrimos is well informed and Biggles speculates it could only have been the mess waiter from Jerry Norman's club.  Biggles asks Ambrimos if he can help him with the whereabouts of the three Arabs from Doctor Darnley's expedition, Abu bin Hamud, Kuatim and Zahar.  Ambrimos says he can't as he doesn't know.  Biggles says that there is talk of Zahar having been seen in Aden recently.  Ambrimos is surprised by this but if he learns anything of the whereabouts of the men, he will let Biggles know.   Biggles is shown out.