by Captain W. E. Johns



IX.   WHAT HAPPENED TO WORRALS  (Pages 96 - 113)


Worrals takes off and heads for England.  She flies low to find landmarks and eventually arrives at her aerodrome.  She then has the plane checked and refuelled and reports to Squadron-Leader McNavish at the Squadron Office.  She is soon talking to Squadron-Leader Yorke who has taken quarters on the station.  "Worrals sat down and gave him a concise account of what had happened at the chateau from the time of their arrival.  Yorke's first thoughts are that it is now too dangerous for them to stay but Worrals suggests they postpone that decision for the time being.  Worrals is asked to take a basket of three homing pigeons with her when she returns.  She is to drop these in a certain wood some 10 miles from the chateau and she is shown clearly on a map, where the wood is, and the area for the drop.  Before returning, Worrals also goes to get some tea, coffee, sugar, butter and meat from the canteen to take back to France.  Worrals flies back and follows a railway line as a guide to take her towards the wood.  Finding the right spot, Worrals drops the pigeons by parachute but her aim if off and the parachute gets caught up in nearby trees.  "If the basket remained undiscovered they would eventually starve and end their lives miserably" so Worrals decides to land.  As she gets out of the plane she accidentally knocks the food parcel out, and she absent mindedly carries that with her as she goes.  Putting the food parcel down she climbs the tree to get the pigeons down; she then hears vehicles.  Concealing herself and her parcels, Worrals sees German soldiers and a man in plain clothes appear and run towards her aircraft.  "Gestapo, thought Worrals, nearly sick with dismay at the catastrophe".  Her plane is examined and so is her map.  The map has a pin hole where the chateau is as Worrals used pointed dividers measuring the distance.  The plain clothes man then gets in the plane and takes off.  The German soldiers start to fan out and search and Worrals runs for her life with her two parcels, one containing the food and the other the three carrier pigeons.  Worrals strikes the road and walks along it, with her long dark coat concealing her uniform.  A German motorcyclist asks her if she has seen a man on the road and she replies that she has not.  Then along comes a German officer in a car asking the same question, but he also insists on giving her a lift to Tours, so she can show him the way.  Worrals gets in the back of the car “praying that the pigeons would remain silent”.  After being dropped at Tours, Worrals sets off down the road to Blois where another car stops and this time it is Oberleutnant Schaffer.  He is travelling the opposite way, but tells Worrals there has been a plane crash at the castle and there is a gentleman there who wants to speak to her.  Schaffer also warns her about Leutnant Lowenhardt, "Between ourselves, I'm not sure that he is what he pretends to be."  Returning to the chateau, Worrals goes round to the cellars to hide her parcels before returning to Madame in the kitchen, who is shocked to see her as she thought she had been killed in the plane crash.  After being told that Frecks is up in her room with the man from the Gestapo, Worrals goes up to join her, well aware that her uniform is still under her coat.  Worrals enters the room and says "Nice goings on when my back is turned, I must say.  Who's your boyfriend?"