by Captain W. E. Johns



VIII.       THE WAREHOUSE IN THE “SOUK”  (Pages 86 – 100)


After dinner, Worrals and Frecks collect Nimrud and go to Bronfield’s warehouse in the Souk, or market place, wherein, as Nimrud puts it, “it is said, the treasures of Wadi Omar are stored”.  They climb onto the flat roof and enter via a roof top trap door which, to their surprise, they find open.  Inside they find various items associated with a genuine excavation.  Our heroes are disturbed by a man and a woman entering through the main door and they hide.  The man appears to have discovered the break in and sends the woman out.  The woman returns with “no fewer than five dark-skinned Arabs.  All carried knives”.  These men then commence a search of the warehouse.  Before Worrals, Frecks and Nimrud are discovered, another intruder, “a coloured man” breaks cover and runs for his life.  He is captured by the Arabs and stabbed and killed.  Clearly, someone had already broken into the warehouse earlier, which explained the open trap door.  After the murder, supplies of leaflets are delivered hidden in the muslin of a mummy in a packing case and these are then taken out and given to five Arab women who are paid for their services.  Worrals goes back up onto the roof to see where the women go.  When the operation in the warehouse is complete, the people leave.  Frecks finds a leaflet that had fallen under a bench.  It is a warning to all Arabs to beware as it says the British intend to give the whole country to the Jews, who have sworn to destroy every Arab in the land.  Worrals sees that the five Arab women with leaflets had left on camels with covered palanquins, “which the Arabs use to take their women about”.  Worrals says if a man, particularly a foreign Christian tried to touch one of them, the whole Moslem world would be up in arms.  Three women on camels had gone one way and two the other, taking the roads to Latakia and to Hama.  Nimrud says the Arabs they saw were Zogorites.  Nimrud is impressed by Worrals.  “If all bints had thy courage, and eyes like thine, which see things that are hidden, men would no longer rule the hareem”.