by Captain W. E. Johns



II.    AN UNEXPECTED GREETING  (Pages 19 – 29)


Worrals and Frecks fly down the busy main trunk route to Cape Town in South Africa and after overhauling the machine, they fly the 600 miles to Keetmannshoop.  They then set off to Magube Drift, planning to stop at Impala inbetween in order to refuel.  Throughout the journey, they look for any signs of a crashed aircraft.  Eventually, finding Impala, they land and notice that there is an aircraft there.  A Junkers commercial monoplane, painted black and white, with the registration letters ZS-YKX.  So we’ve got company,” remarked Frecks.  “What fun!  They must be real he-man pilots to operate in this wild beast infested country.  It wouldn’t surprise me if I fell in love”.  “Somehow I don’t think you will,” answered Worrals slowly, her eyes on the two men who were now walking quickly towards the Kingfisher”.  The two men give the girls a hostile reception.  “One was a tall, loose-limbed, middle-aged man, with a sallow complexion and a black shade over his left eye, which gave him a sinister appearance.  The other was small, swart, black-haired, and so dark-skinned that he was obviously not entirely European”.  Worrals is told in no uncertain terms that they had taken over this airfield, she was not welcome and she was to leave.  “All right.  We’ll take in some petrol and push on”.  As she spoke Worrals glanced towards the resthouse hoping to see Mahomet.  She caught sight of a coloured man standing in the deep shade of the interior, but he was certainly not an Indian.  He was an African native.  Except for a leopard-skin cloth he was naked.  In his hand he carried a spear with the haft bound in a curious pattern with brass wire.  More than that she could not see”.  They are refused petrol.  Worrals says that without petrol they can neither get to Magube Drift nor return to civilisation.  A threat is made to disable their plane and Worrals pulls out her rifle to hold the men at bay.  Worrals and Frecks get in their aircraft and take off.  The men get their guns and fire after them.  Worrals wonders if Bill has fallen foul of these men.  Flying out of sight of the aerodrome, Worrals lands.  They need petrol and they are going to have to return to Impala and just take it.  The girls decide to wait for sunset before walking back.  Frecks sees four lions and is afraid.  “Don’t be silly.  You seem to forget that millions of people walk about Africa every day and all day.  They’re used to things like lions.  We shall have to get used to them, too”.