WORRALS OF THE ISLANDS

First Published in October 1945 - 192 pages

 

Click on the dust jacket below to enlarge

 The original first edition dust jacket showing the original book price of 6 shillings.

 

WORRALS OF THE ISLANDS - STORY SUMMARY

 

Squadron Leader Marcus Yorke tells Worrals that a dead native has been found off the coast of Australia with a message written in holes through a metal tin "Help. Nine British girls .... alive ....island .... south-east Singapore .... Reward this man". Worrals asks for and is granted permission to try to find the lost girls. They have some information to start with. It is known that nine girls set off from Singapore in a bid to escape the Japanese invasion. Flying out to Darwin, Australia and taking advice from a local fisherman, Billy Maguire, our heroines fly on to make a base on Ingles Island. From here they plan to systematically fly over every island in an attempt to find the missing girls. On one of the islands they search, they find Corporal Harry Timms RAF, a gunner who has been marooned after his plane was shot down and his pilot killed. Back on Ingles Island, where the girls have their fuel dump, there are problems. A Japanese aircraft is forced to land with engine trouble. The three man crew get onto the island and soon discover our heroes. A shoot out results in two Japs being killed after their plane crashes as they try to get away. A third gets on the island and hides out in the crocodile infested mango swamps. A cry in the middle of the night signals the end of him. Continuing the search of the islands, Worrals lands and tries to make contact with some natives. One, called Oke, speaks a form of pigeon-English and gives the girls some information that may assist. He appears to indicate that an English speaking Sikh in one of the islands may have information. Worrals agrees to travel with Oke in his boat to the island of the Maital. This they do and Worrals meets the Sikh who is called Rama Pindra. Suddenly the island is attacked by the Japanese in their gunboat Tamaroa. Sailors land and kill many natives including Oke. Rama Pindra agrees to take Worrals back to the island she came from but on the journey they are seen and approached by the Tamaroa. Meanwhile Frecks and Harry have returned to Ingles Island, only to find all their petrol burnt. The missing Japanese airman has not been eaten by crocodiles, but is alive and well, that is, until Harry shoots him. Now terribly short of fuel, Frecks wonders how she can get back to meet with Worrals. Harry says there is still fuel in his crashed aircraft so they fly to the island where Harry was found to transfer the fuel. Later the Tamaroa arrives and when it leaves Frecks finds a hat with the name 'Pam Deacon' in. It is known that Pam is one of the missing nine girls. The only conclusion is that Pam must be in the Japanese ship! Flying back, they are in time to see the Tamaroa going to intercept Worrals' canoe and with a desperate manoeuvre, Frecks lands and saves both Worrals and Rama Pindra before the Japanese get to them. Worrals sends a message by radio to Darwin for more stores and resolves to find the Tamaroa and try to rescue Pam. Finding the Tamaroa moored up for the night at an island, Worrals glides to the other side and lands noiselessly. The plan is to march across the island and then try to find the best way to get Pam out. However, crossing the vegetation on the island is easier said than done and it takes until morning to do it. Our heroes then come across Prince Samurai, the Japanese leader about to execute two men by beheading. The men are saved and Samurai captured. He is forced to hand over Pam Deacon and everybody returns to the aircraft. Worrals refuses to let Samurai be killed, as the British don't kill prisoners and she lets him go. The two men saved are Dutch, Jan Vandergroot and his friend Uleet Kleef. The petrol shortage is now desperate and Worrals returns with everyone to Ingles Island to await the shipment from Darwin. Pam is able to tell Worrals where the surviving girls are. Two have died and Pam had tried to fetch help in a canoe, before being picked up by the Japanese. The petrol arrives in a Walrus aircraft, which is shot down immediately by a Japanese Zero fighter. All the petrol is lost and only the pilot, Jimmy Crane is saved. Another signal is sent to Darwin to ask for more petrol. Worrals thinks she has enough petrol to pick up the surviving girls and get them back to Ingles Island, this she resolves to do, only to find herself in a race with the Tamaroa to get to the girls. Japanese sailors try to land on the island where the girls are marooned, and they have to be fought off. The weather is getting worse and Worrals knows that the monsoon season is about to break. The girls are rescued and Worrals get back to Ingles Island with about a pint of petrol to spare. Expecting the petrol, it's a shock when a Japanese Misubishi Bomber flies over Ingles island. Next, Billy Maguire arrives in his boat, the Annie and he has fuel aboard. The island is bombed by the Japanese and the Annie is sunk, but not before enough fuel is put into the all important aircraft. Our heroes are able to fly out and return with everybody to Darwin, Australia.

 

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Frontispiece

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Worrals of the Islands

Subtitle - A Story of the War in the Pacific.

Publication Details - published by Hodder and Stoughton

 

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