by Captain W. E. Johns



XVIII.    BACK TO THE CAMARGUE  (Pages 179 - 191)


For five days Worrals and Frecks travel with the sheep to Aigues-Mortes, the end of the trail.  Louis goes on in advance and returns with the news that there are soldiers in the village and there is a price of one hundred thousand francs on the girl’s heads.  Louis has also heard from the locals that a plane has been heard several times, coming from the north and circling and then returning.  Worrals is certain that it is Bill looking for them.  Louis hides the girls in a cell at the castle, known as a cell tragique.  In the sixteenth and seventeen century, some girls were imprisoned there and forgotten.  When released one was 50 and she had been bought there when she was 8.  She had not seen the light of day in all those years.  Later, Louis returns with further news.  A plane can be heard coming from the north and it is said that the girls are being hunted with dogs.  Louis has organised three horses, two ridden by gardians, the local cowboys, to take the girls out to find a suitable landing ground.  He rides the third horse himself.  In ten minutes they have reached a suitable landing ground.  Worrals uses her torch to flash her identification signal to the sky three times.  They hear hounds in the distance but a Whitley lands and Bill is the pilot.  He takes off with Worrals and Frecks on board.  “Thanks, partner.  You were just in time.  The hounds of Hitler, in every sense of the word, were close on our heels,” says Worrals.  It turns out that Bill had not remembered what Worrals had said but Lucien had sent a signal saying there were making for the Carmargue but as he had no code, the Germans also knew where to look.  Bill says to Worrals, “The next time I fall in love, I’ll choose a girl who stays at home”.  Frecks is pleased to discover what day it is as her ration coupons can still be used.  Then she realises that she has left them in her uniform in “that beastly dungeon”.  Bill lands back at their aerodrome in England and tells Worrals that Intelligence had a report that von Brandisch had been demoted for bungling the affair at the Causse Mejean.  Worrals and Frecks meet the C.O. and report back for duty.