by Captain W. E. Johns



IX.   VOICES OF AFRICA  (Pages 93 – 104)


Worrals is offered the skin of the lion if she comes back that way, but she is keen to set out in the Kingfisher to their next destination which is the Ovambo kraal at Nakula.  They land about two or three miles from that location and follow an old rhino trail to the native village.  On the way they are disturbed by the roaring of lions.  Dicks says lions roar after they have hunted.  “When you think of it, it would be a daft thing to do – like a burglar singing at the top of his voice when breaking into a house”.  Reaching Nakula, they find the villagers dancing wildly.  “They had formed into two lines, which swayed backwards and forwards to the beat of the drums, feet dancing, hands clapping, shouting when the beats grew faster”.  “Well, that’s the real Africa,” muttered Uncle Dick.  Worrals decides that she and Dick will prowl around whilst Frecks waits, in case they are captured and Frecks needs to report matters at Keetmannshoop.  Frecks climbs a tree to watch.  Under an ancient tree, Worrals finds the remains of an aeroplane.  The fabric has been removed and the wings forced back.  It’s a Dragon; Bill’s Dragon.  “If the machine is here, it seems likely that Bill is here – or was here” Worrals tells Dick.  They see Wongorobo and he is carrying a rifle.  It looks like an Express, the one that belonged to Mahomet.  Worrals wants to ask the natives how the machine got there but Uncle Dick says “In that state they’re incapable of thinking, anyway.  Only a shock of some sort would bring them out of that frenzy”.  Worrals resolves to give them a shock.  She will go and start the engines of Bill’s plane up – if the engine will start.  Worrals says she thinks the natives will bolt; particularly if she can taxi the aircraft towards them.  They can then search the village huts.