by W. E. Johns



XI.   A DESPERATE FLIGHT  (Pages 192 - 206)

(On original publication this instalment was called "In an Enemy 'Plane")


Worrals climbs up an apple-tree and sees the spies about fifty yards in front, moving a shrubbery contained in large pots aside.  This shrubbery concealed an underground chamber the size and form of a hangar.  Here there is a Rockheed twin-engined commercial 10-seater.  Near it are seven men, including the fake Corton, Carl and the two German officers.  The machine carries British markings.  The machine is dragged out and as they start it, Worrals notices it now shows German markings.  This is to make the locals think that the Rectory has just been bombed when it blows up.  Corton and Carl get onboard as others load stuff up.  Worrals comes up with a desperate plan for her to fly the plane.  If she and Frecks can get onboard and Frecks can keep them back just long enough for her to take off, they won't dare touch her in the air for fear of crashing.  The girls run and jump onboard.  Worrals gets in the pilot's seat and starts to take off.  She looks in the reflector and sees Frecks.  "She seemed to be fighting three men, fighting with the ferocity of a wild-cat".  One of the German pilots has also managed to get onboard.  The machine taxis faster and faster and begins to lift.  Frecks is held down by Corton and Carl and the German pilot is able to come up and seize Worrals by the shoulder.  "Let me go, you fool," shouted Worrals.  "Do you want to kill the lot of us?"  Carl joins them.  "Get away, both of you, or I'll fly into the next tree," cried Worrals.  Carl approaches "He raised the automatic and held the muzzle at Worrals’ head.  "Let go of that stick or I'll shoot you," he rasped, and Worrals knew that he meant it".  (The words "and Worrals knew that he meant it" were not in the original published instalment).  "All right, if that's how you want it," she cried, "we all go out together."  And as she finished speaking she kicked the rudder-bar viciously with her left foot, and dragged the control column over to the same side.  The machine responded instantly to such harsh treatment.  It flung up a wing in a vertical bank and plunged towards the ground".