by Captain W. E. Johns



XIII.       MAKING FOR THE MOUNTAINS  (Pages 131 – 141)


Common sense tells Worrals that all petrol must have been seized by the Germans and what there was would be restricted to people on official business.  As she did not come into that category, there was a strong likelihood that she would be stopped and she had no identification papers, nor even a map.  Asking for directions, she takes the road to Florac when she has some luck which at first seems bad but turns out to be good.  She runs out of petrol.  Not wanting the motor cycle to be discovered as it would give away her position, she pushes it over the precipice and throws the dust coat after it.  Ten minutes later and now walking, she is stopped and questioned about a girl on a motor cycle wearing a dust coat.  Evidently, the gendarme has discovered his loss and the hunt is on for her.  Worrals says she lives in Florac and is allowed to pass.  She checks the time as she does so and it is 8.15 pm.  Bill is due to arrive at midnight and she must still be 8 or 10 miles distant.  After about 2 miles, Worrals gets a lift with a lorry load of troops and has to go in the back with them.  They are heading for La Malene.  The men are all in French uniforms, but Worrals suspects they are Germans or Alsatians from the German frontier.  Officially, there are no German troops in the unoccupied zone.  The N.C.O. of the troops comments that these parts are full of spies “but they won't be much longer”.  Worrals wants to be dropped off before the village but the lorry doesn't stop and goes all the way to the police station.  Here, Worrals sees the French general and one of the policemen she held up when she rescued Lucien.  Worrals says to the N.C.O. that he might get into trouble for letting her ride in the lorry and so she remains concealed until she has a chance to slip out unnoticed.  She then sets off on the path that led to the causse, anxious to send a signal to abort the landing planned for that night, in view of the arrival of the troops.  Finding their base in the darkness, Worrals searches for the cave entrance only it has gone!  Where it should be, there is just rock.  Bewildered, Worrals stands in the darkness and hears a dry, rasping cough.