by Captain W. E. Johns



IV.                   TRICKED  (Pages 57 – 67)


Biggles takes Ginger and Algy in the Mosquito, with Bertie following in the Proctor with Mishu.  Ginger struggles to find the lake as there is smoke everywhere.  The Black Elephant has set fire to the grass and there is no wind to carry the smoke away.  “The fire was spreading, giving the impression that the whole country was on fire”.  Realising that any aerial search is futile, they fly back to Kampala.  Biggles is still pleased there have got onto the trail of the Elephant and says that as they know roughly where he is, it shouldn’t be too difficult to pick up his trail again.  “Let him do his fifty miles a day.  That won’t help him much.  We can do the same distance in ten minutes, and he knows it”.  Biggles thinks the Black Elephant will continue to head north and he won’t use the smoke trick again as it would give his position away.  They all have lunch.  Biggles works out an area, about five hundred miles long, as the area to be watched and that will mean a lot of work.  Biggles ask Mishu what he thinks and Mishu agrees.  Mishu asks Biggles if he could be taken to Northern Uganda where he knows not only the game trails, but most of the people.  If he is left there to move about the villages, he will learn of the approach of the Black Elephant.  One of the Black Elephant’s hiding places was the elephant-grass where Major Harvey was killed.  There is a Government landing-ground there, with a rest-house, near a kraal named Latonga.  Biggles agrees and tells Ginger to take Mishu up right away in the Auster.  He should easily get back before sundown.  The weather is fine and Ginger eventually locates the white circle, largely overgrown, of the rough Government landing-ground.  Mishu gets out and waves goodbye.  “Ginger was about to take off again forthwith when there occurred one of those incidents, apparently trivial at the time, which can have results so far-reaching, so catastrophic, that not by any stretch of the imagination could they be foreseen”.