Book First Published on 10th February 1963 - 184 pages

I believe this Biggles book was never serialised elsewhere.  If anybody knows differently then please E-MAIL ME


The first edition dust jacket showing the original price of 8 shillings and 6 pence


Biggles is asked by Rod Macaster to help him with problems on the Scottish Island of Tola. Macaster, a man of some means, has leased the island from the British Government and plans to re-populate the apparently deserted island. Strange goings on have lead him to the police. Biggles, taking Algy, Bertie and Ginger with him, decides to go to the island to investigate. They fly by police helicopter and meet Rod there, as he is taking supplies in his boat. They arrive to find that Rod's boat has been scuttled. Algy is sent back in the helicopter with various instructions, while the rest remain and set up a base camp in an old abandoned cottage. Living rough in the cottage, Biggles' plan is to lie low and see what is going on. Ginger spots a horse at a nearby castle. Whilst Bertie is fishing, he has a hostile encounter with three men. A Royal Navy helicopter arrives, sent by Algy, to look at the feasibility of raising Rod's sunken boat. A Navy frogman retrieves some supplies from the boat and this is the picture on the dust cover of the book. When the Navy leave, smoke and fire awake Biggles and Co. They find all of the heather alight and with the wind blowing in their direction, their cottage is burnt out. They only just manage to escape with their lives and some supplies. Going to investigate the castle they find a locked room which they are unable to enter. Exploring the kitchen, Biggles, Rod and Bertie are locked in and trapped. Meanwhile, Ginger is alerted to night time noises on the beach. Here men are using the horse to load something into a visiting boat. Unfortunately, Ginger is captured and taken as a prisoner to the castle, where he too is locked in the kitchen. Surprisingly, the kitchen is empty because Biggles has discovered a secret way out. The passage has been left open so it is easy for Ginger to follow and in due course he is reunited with the others. Algy returns with more supplies and some information. Biggles comes up with a plan that involves leaving Rod on his own in another cottage. Algy then flies the others off and drops them on the beach before flying away. This draws the baddies out of the castle and Biggles, Bertie and Ginger are able to get inside, capture the one man left on guard and discover what has been going on within the locked room - an illegal whisky still. A confrontation followed by a brief shoot out ends when Algy comes back with Inspector Gaskin. The baddies split into two groups, one of which surrenders immediately and the other hold up in the castle for a short while. Realising there is no escape this group eventually surrenders as well. The people captured are escaped criminals using the island as a hideout whilst making the whisky.


Click here to see the illustrated endpiece from this book

With the exception of the frontispiece, there are no other story illustrations in this book.


Biggles Takes it Rough

Publication Details - published by Brockhampton Press



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“Children’s Book Club” edition reprint – click on the above picture to find out more details