by Captain W. E. Johns



XIV.         FRECKS TAKES CHARGE  (Pages 141 – 149)


When Frecks saw Worrals take off, she realised perfectly well why.  However, what Worrals didn't realise was she nearly hit the sheep she had with her and missed a disaster by inches.  As von Brandisch leaves, Frecks hears him say “I'll make an end of this.  The only thing to do is to make a systematic search of the whole plateau, if it means examining every rock, to find out where these weasels hide”.  Louis offers to shoot von Brandisch, but Frecks fears villagers will be shot in reprisal.  Frecks asks Louis about the other entrance to the cave and is told there is one in the side of the gorge but it is dangerous to use.  Frecks decides to have the entrance they use blocked up in a manner that looks like a natural landslide so the Germans don't find it.  A message is received later that von Brandisch has returned to the causse alone.  Frecks knows that Worrals will return as soon as she can and she will find the cave blocked off.  Frecks decides to wait for her in a concealed position so she can tell her when she comes back.  The other entrance to the cave is a mere slit in the sheer face of the cliff with narrow ledges radiating diagonally upwards.  Louis shows Frecks the best way up but although the rim of the gorge is 40 feet away, the diagonal path is twice that.  Von Brandisch is seen to be still waiting and then a small Junkers aircraft arrives and four men get out to meet him.  Shortly afterwards the pilot joins them and the six men then hide themselves in the surrounding boulders evidently intending to keep watch throughout the night.  Frecks asks Louis to get his men to seize the watchers one by one before midnight.  Frecks waits alone and nothing happens.  Worrals doesn't arrive and Louis doesn't come back to report success in capturing the men.  At 11.30 pm Frecks is really worried as Bill is due to arrive in half an hour and the German Junkers aircraft is still there blocking their runway.  Deciding she will have to move the Junkers herself, Frecks carefully approaches the plane.  She throws a stone at the window to see if there is any reaction from any possible person inside.  On getting no response, she opens the cabin door and gets into the pilot's seat.