WORRALS GOES EAST
by Captain W. E. Johns
V. THE CHARMING DOCTOR BRONFIELD (Pages 59 – 70)
Worrals moves to a hospital bed the following morning to see if the rumour she started will lead to anyone coming to the hospital. They wait. Frecks says “If nothing happens in the next half an hour I’m going out to flirt with Nimrud”. In due course a man arrives; it is Doctor Bronfield, an archaeologist, who the girls saw leaving the office of Major Kenton on the day they first went to see him. He says he was visiting the wife of one of his assistants who was in their room previously. Worrals says she has a touch of fever. Bronfield sees Worrals necklace on the table by her bed and expresses interest in it. He offers Worrals £100 for it but she declines, saying it was a present. Bromfield says he is working on the site of an ancient Hittite city at Wadi Omar, 40 miles east of Aleppo. They talk about his work and he explains how they use wax to move skeletons to keep them intact. Worrals asks if they can visit and Bromfield says he would be glad to show them around. Worrals spills water on herself and Bromfield offers his handkerchief to help her mop herself up. Bromfield leaves and shortly after, the Matron comes in with a box of crystallised fruits for the girls, apparently from Major Kenton. Worrals take a plum before Frecks leaves the room with the box. After smelling it, she throws it to a stray dog outside who is immediately poisoned. Worrals runs after Frecks and just stops her eating the fruit in time. She had been chatting with a nurse and so had been delayed. Looking out across the Courtyard, Worrals sees the hook nosed Arab approaching. He is coming for the necklace, she suspects. Worrals hides the necklace and then back in Worrals’ hospital room, Worrals rings for the duty nurse and then both Worrals and Frecks pretend to be dead. The Arab climbs into their room and goes straight to the table where the necklace was and starts searching. Footsteps ring outside as the duty nurse answers their call and, disturbed, the Arab jumps out of the window. Worrals is pleased with her subterfuge, as the Arab will report seeing the two girl’s bodies to his boss. “Having killed us once – as he thinks – he won’t try to kill us again until he discovers that we are very much alive – and he will discover that in due course. For the moment we’ve stolen a march on him”.