by Captain W. E. Johns



V.    FRECKS HAS AN IDEA  (Pages 48 – 60)


“Worrals sat for some time deep in thought.  Frecks did not interrupt”.  Frecks watches Andrew and Dick working and Dick shows her how to grind up quartz and pan for gold.  Watching Dick digging reminds Frecks of something and she goes and speaks to Worrals.  Last night when Frecks fell over, Worrals had thought it was a hyena or a jackal.  Frecks has remembered the animal was digging.  What was it digging for?  Frecks concludes the animal was digging for something to eat.  Worrals says they have got to find out what is at the bottom of the hole.  “I hate touching it, because I’m scared stiff of what we may find, but it’s got to be done”.  They ask Dick to fly out with them and bring his entrenching tool.  Two hours later they arrive at Impala Way and notice that the Junkers is not there.  Worrals is about to land when she realises that the landing ground has been wired.  “Stretched across the best part of the landing field about two feet about the ground, with pegs at intervals was a strand of wire”.  Landing at the edge of the landing ground, Worrals and Frecks explore whilst Dick digs where the animal was digging.  He finds Mahomet’s body.  Killed by a spear in the back and then buried.  In the grave Dick finds a cartridge for a Rimmington forty-five rife – “not a very common calibre or make”.  It is not known if Shardwell or Gronk use such a weapon.  It definitely isn’t Mahomet’s as Dick knew he had an Express rifle.  The petrol store has been emptied and Worrals knows they must have moved it and hidden it because there was too much for them to take with them.  As it was heavy, chances are they used their Junkers plane to move it.  That doesn’t have a tail wheel, but a tail skid, which cuts the turf up.  Searching around they soon find a groove that leads them to the other side of the aerodrome and under some trees they find where the petrol has been hidden.  Worrals taxis her aircraft over.  Nearby is a salty stream.  After an interruption by a rhino, Worrals uses some of the petrol to refill her aircraft.  She then has the idea of refilling the petrol cans with salt water and putting them back on the top of the pile.  Dick says that it is their duty to report the murder of Mahomet to the police.  Worrals wants to, but if the villains have Bill as a prisoner and are arrested, they will just sit quiet and he will starve to death.  They hear an approaching plane and Worrals quickly taxis their Kingfisher aircraft under the trees.  It is the Junkers coming from the north, Ovambo country.  Dick says that it may have been to Hansvelt as Shardwell has a claim up there.  However, the plane is not coming to land at Impala but is heading south towards Keetmannshoop.  Worrals decides to follow it.  A trip to Keetmannshoop means that as least Dick can pick his stores up.