by Captain W. E. Johns



VI.                   THE ENEMY HITS BACK  (Pages 78 - 90)


At dawn the following morning, Biggles is with Ginger, Bertie and Zahar.  Biggles has sent a message to Raymond about what he has learned and is waiting for instructions, as it may involve entering other countries.  When the instructions arrive they are "Go ahead - case now top priority".  Both planes take off, with Biggles, Ginger and Zahar in one plane and Bertie flying as back-up.  To Ginger's horror, he sees a hole in the leading edge of the wing and the fabric trying to balloon.  It could rip off the entire fabric and cause the plane to crash.  Biggles lands safely and observes that the fabric has been cut as if it has been done with a razor blade.  "I'd say it was done by the dagger of some dirty stinking Arab" says Bertie after he has landed.  A careful examination of Bertie's machine finds nothing wrong with it.  Biggles decides to continue in Bertie's machine and Bertie can follow on when he has had Biggles' machine repaired.  Biggles, with Ginger and Zahar take off and fly across the Red Sea to Africa.  They fly in over the port of Marsa Mekel, which Zahar knows and head to the north of the areas where Ambrimos was producing hashish.  Biggles plan is to spot the place from the air, but not get too close to it, then land not too far away and make a sortie on foot.  Biggles wants to have a look at the war-time air-field marked 137.  In due course, Zahar identifies the place for which they are heading and Biggles sheers away and heads for the war-time airfield.  He want to prove hashish or gurra is being cultivated to justify steps being taken to stop it.