by Captain W. E. Johns



XIII.                        ZAHAR SETTLES A DEBT  (Pages 159 - 173)


Bertie spends four hours going to Aden and back, returning with L.A.C. Blakey, an acetylene welder.  Zahar has removed all the fabric from the collapsed hangar.  Zahar explains what happened to Biggles and says his last message was the wall that holds the water much be destroyed.  Bertie tells Blakey to "clear the gubbins away from that aircraft so that we can get it airborne" and that when he has finished he needs to "cover the machine with some of this old canvas in case those w*gs (see red comments below) come back."  They firstly change the wheel on the Moth aircraft.  Bertie takes Zahar and the dynamite he has bought back with him and they fly the Moth to within a mile or two of El Moab.  Then they find their way to the dam.  When they get there Bertie says "Jolly good work, S*mbo".  (See red comments below).  Bertie sets the charges and not for a moment does he think that Biggles and Ginger might be in El Moab.  When he is about to light the fuse he calls "Hi! S*mbo!  (see red comments below) Where are you?" as he wants to make sure that Zahar is safe and suddenly he comes under fire from an Arab with a rifle.  Dripping his lit match, Bertie has accidentally started the fuse burning.  Zahar attacks the Arab.  As Bertie climbs up to safety an Arab falls past him.  Bertie, calling "Hi! S*mbo! (The word “S*mbo” appears three times in this book, with all occurrences being in this chapter.  The word “w*g” appears twice, once in this chapter and once in Chapter 14, “Ambrimos Gets His Answer”.  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 1951.  It is interesting to note that the book was never reprinted as a hardback after the 1950s and it was never printed as a paperback) that you up there?" finds Zahar cleaning his knife.  The Arab was Abu bin Hamud and Zahar has had his revenge on him.  Bertie wants to go and warn the rest of the Arabs in the wadi that the dam is about to blow up, much to Zahar's surprise, and Bertie sets off to do so.