WORRALS ON THE WAR-PATH
First Published in July 1943 - 191 pages
The original first edition dust jacket – showing the original book price of 5 shillings.
WORRALS ON THE WAR-PATH
Click on any chapter for a summary of the events in that chapter or see the general story summary below
Worrals has an idea that a remote part of Central France called the Cevennes could be used as a British airfield to refuel aircraft. This would enable planes to fly directly to the Island of Malta quickly, rather than be shipped by sea. The Cevennes has barren plateaux called Causses, which would be ideal for landing aircraft. Worrals informs Squadron Leader Yorke of her idea and she and Frecks are sent to France to organise a temporary airbase, as Worrals knows the area well. Meeting up with Lucien and Raoul (from Worrals Flies Again), they go to the small village of Carnac. Here, a Vichy gendarme named Duclos is suspicious of the new arrivals. Moving to a cave on the Causse Mejean, Worrals and Frecks are soon informed that Duclos has been murdered. This is a major problem for Worrals as she knows that the Germans will come to investigate. Deciding to hide in the cave permanently, Worrals and Lucien go to obtain their things and return to find Frecks and Raoul missing. The have been captured by local French Resistance hiding out in the same cave, which is a vast underground complex of caves. Worrals meets Louis Capelle, an old guide, whom she knew when she visited the area before the war. He is able to vouch for her and they all agree to work together. The local French police capture Lucien after he returns to Carnac to collect a painting of the Causse Mejean he made when pretending to be an artist. Lucien feared the painting might give the location of their hideout away. Lucien is taken to La Malene, but Worrals is able to rescue him after going to visit whilst pretending to be his girlfriend. Worrals' old friend Bill Ashton is the pilot who is sent to fly out supplies to the new airfield. The bulk of the supplies is fuel for planes. The following day, an old foe is seen. Hauptmann von Brandisch of the Gestapo is in the area and is looking around the Causse Mejean and he has Lucien's painting. It is not long before the first squadron of Spitfires are due to arrive, but before they do, Worrals seeks the help of the Resistance to deal with the guards left by von Brandisch. Setting out lights on a makeshift runway, all the Spitfires are refuelled and sent on their way. Unexpectedly, a lost Messerschmitt 110 lands and the pilot is captured. His plane is soon missed and found by the Germans who send a team to recover it. Worrals poses as a local girl in order to tell them that the pilot went to a nearby village to telephone but due to a twist of fate, she finds herself having to fly the Messerschmitt away. Landing in the Camargue, Worrals has a number of adventures getting back to the cave that is their base. Frecks is left in charge and has to deal with the problems of a German search. She arranges for the entrance to their cave to be blocked up and this causes problems for Worrals on her return. Worrals runs into and captures, von Brandisch, who is now sure that the Causse Mejean is the centre of his problems. He had arranged for the whole area to be bombed and for paratroopers to arrive. Von Brandisch escapes and Worrals and her friends have to refuel a final squadron of Spitfires before abandoning the now useless airfield. Bill Ashton is unable to get Worrals and Frecks away when the bombing starts and they have to escape by way of a highly dangerous route back to the Camargue where he is eventually able to meet with them and fly them home to England.
French edition – Worrals en Mission (Worrals on a Mission) – This had a colour frontispiece the same as the cover and 51 internal illustrations(!)
Click on the picture below to see it in more detail
Worrals on the War-Path
Subtitle - A Worrals of the W.A.A.F story
Publication Details - published by Hodder and Stoughton
The boards of the first and third editions