by Captain W. E. Johns



XII.         IN THE ENEMY CAMP  (Pages 136 – 148)


Worrals watches the aircraft land.  It is a Heron.  Two men, a pilot and a passenger alight from the plane and they are met by a man and a woman.  They speak in German.  One of the new arrivals, a man referred to as Berthold, addresses the man Worrals knows a Bronfield and calls him Brunowsky.  He says to him “the Gestapo reports that you are getting in a mess”.  Brunowsky, (to give him his correct name) explains how “Greta” flew into a hill and they lost a plane.  The conversation also refers to Bronfield and his daughters being alive.  Berthold introduces their new pilot as Otto Voss.  The three men go off to talk further in a tent, leaving the woman, called Hylda, to refuel the plane.  Worrals watched her with pardonable hostility, for there was every reason to suppose that this was the girl who had been responsible for putting the snake in the bed.  Hylda was the girl – or rather woman – who had posed as a French officer to obtain access to their room in the hotel.  Her figure, Worrals perceived, was about the same”.  When Hylda has finished refuelling the plane from cans, Worrals goes and opens the tap that drains the main tank.  She doesn’t have time to get to the gravity tank, which still has fuel in it, before the men return.  Voss notices the smell of petrol but it is assumed to be spillage from the refuelling process.  To Worrals relief, the plane takes off using the gravity tank because when they switch to the main tank they will find it empty.  The Arab workers put the fake palm trees back once the plane has gone.  Worrals sees Hylda taking paper that had been brought by the plane somewhere and she suspects that Hylda is going to their printing press.  Worrals follows her.