by Captain W. E. Johns



XIII.       AN ALARMING DISCOVERY  (Pages 144 - 153)


Lucien and Raoul depart.  Worrals is worried about why Lowenhardt was on the roof.  He must have had a reason.  She and Frecks go back to the roof to make a thorough search.  Here they find a wire leading from an Elm tree to the roof.  There is no radio in the house, or telephone or electricity.  They find it leads to the chimney pot for their room and drawing it up they find a microphone.  Frecks looked aghast.  "You mean - the conversation we had with Lucien and Raoul ... could be overheard?"  "Every word of it - that is, if anyone was listening." says Worrals.  They go down to the ground level to follow the wire from the Elm tree and it leads them to a hut in a dilapidated arbour.  The batteries and the amplifier are there but the hut is empty.  Worrals sends Frecks to go and tell Lucien and Raoul what they have discovered.  In due course, Worrals hears Frecks warning her via the microphone from their bedroom that she has just seen von Brandisch arrive and he is heading towards the arbour.  To make things worse he is likely to cross paths with Lucien who is putting Lowenhardt's uniform out by the river.  Worrals has to think quickly what to do and she lets out a piercing scream.  The German comes running towards her.  Lucien comes running as well, but seeing the German, he has time to hide the uniform under a bush.  Worrals says she saw a snake and then returns to her room.  Outside the room she reminds Frecks about the microphone and that von Brandisch is now bound to be listening.  The girls then have a contrived conversation for the benefit of von Brandisch about how they are going to help him and how exciting it would be to catch an English spy.  Pretending to leave their room, the girls then watch von Brandisch leave the arbour.