by Captain W. E. Johns



XIV.        FRECKS HAS A TOUGH TIME  (Pages 159 – 173)


Frecks had made good time getting back to their aircraft with Nimrud and as soon as the aircraft is in sight she has sent Nimrud back to help Worrals.  However, this decision was premature, as Frecks suddenly becomes aware of human voices.  She then sees three figures in Arab robes.  It is the three Zogorites that she and Worrals held up on the Hama road as one of the Arabs is wounded.  The Arabs see tracks from the machine and start following them and this leads directly to Frecks who does her best to hide.  Crawling towards the aircraft, Frecks puts her hand down on a fallen cactus leaf and the involuntary gasp she gives out is heard.  Frecks is seen and has to make a dash for the plane.  She jumps into the pilot’s seat and tries to take off but one of the Arabs throws himself over the fuselage, just in front of the fin, to stop her.  The Arab falls off and Frecks can almost take off but another aeroplane is coming in to land and heading right for her!  “One of the first laws of aviation is that machines on the ground must give way to a landing aircraft.  It was her duty to give way.  She did not have to think about it; she did it automatically”.  She swerves out of the way and the undercarriage of her plane collapses with the strain.  Frecks notices the other aircraft is also a Heron and two men jump out.  They catch Frecks and realise that it is her companion who has drained their main tank back at the oasis.  After diagnosing their problem, the two men note that they have enough fuel in their gravity tank to get back to Wadi Omar and they fly their plane back taking Frecks with them as their prisoner.  Frecks meets Brunowsky again and he sends men to go and get the fuel out of Frecks crashed plane with a view to filling up Berthold’s plane.  Hylda slaps Frecks face in order to make her tell them where Worrals is and when Frecks refuses to talk, Hylda and the Zogorite Ali take her to the printing press where they put her hands in.  “Now, dear English lady,” sneered Hylda, “if you do not answer my questions truthfully, and politely, I am going to crush your hands flat.  Where is your friend?”  Frecks took a grip on herself.  “Find her, Nazi,” she spat through her teeth”.  Hylda’s face paled with passion.  “Have it your own way,” she rasped.  “No” said a voice close at hand.  “We’ll have this my way”.  It’s Worrals with a gun, just in time to save Frecks.  Sheikh Ali flies at Worrals with a dagger and Worrals shoots him dead.  Hylda’s hands are tied with flex and Worrals and Frecks take her with them.