by Captain W. E. Johns



III.  MAGUBE DRIFT  (Pages 29 – 38)


Worrals takes her rifle and Frecks her automatic and the girls also take a small hacksaw and file.  They walk back to Impala Way and see the Junkers is still there and yellow light is coming from the resthouse.  Worrals is disappointed as she hoped the men had gone.  They find the petrol store which is unlocked and Worrals has an idea.  “It’s unlikely that we shall be given a chance to repeat this performance, so I’m going to grab the opportunity of laying in a little reserve store”.  Four hundred yards away, the girls had passed a dry watercourse and they spend an hour taking twenty petrol cans and four of oil there, tucking them under a rocky bank with loose sand thrown over them.  They return for one more load to take to their aircraft and are just setting off for the plane when Frecks is disturbed by an unknown creature and lets out a shrill of alarm.  The two men are alerted and come out.  They conclude the noise must have been a hyena and fire a shot to scare it off.  Worrals and Frecks return to their plane with the petrol and then return to their secret store for four more cans.  Having refuelled the plane, the two girls sleep in the cabin overnight and the following dawn they take off and fly out to Magube Drift.  They see from the air two men working there, but there is no sign of Bill or his aircraft.  Worrals and Frecks land and they introduce themselves to the men who are Bill’s Uncle Dick and Andrew Mackintosh.  Worrals explains that they have come out as they haven’t heard from Bill for months.  Bill isn’t there and the two men don’t know where he is.  Bill had left to fetch stores over a couple of months ago and not returned.  “All we know is he left here in his aeroplane for Cape Town,” said Uncle Dick.  “He hasn’t come back.  We can only think that his machine much have gone wrong and he came down somewhere between here and the Cape”.  Looking for him is out of the question, due to the sheer size of the country and the lack of transport.  If Bill has had a forced landing in the Kalahari Desert his chances would be poor as he wasn’t equipped for a desert march.  Worrals is puzzled.  Bill would have flown on a compass course, a straight line to Cape Town.  If he was down, Worrals would have seen the aircraft or the wreckage as she has flown the exact same course and was looking out for any such thing.  Worrals decides they need to do a thorough search; she is then disturbed by the drone of an aero engine.  Looking out the door, they see it is the Junkers.  “I’m afraid there’s going to be a spot of bother” says Worrals.  “There’s no need for you gentlemen to become involved.  We can take care of ourselves”.