by W. E. Johns



11.         MOVE AND COUNTERMOVE  (Pages 174 – 188)


Worrals does the dawn watch, thinking that if anything happens, it is likely to be then.  Worrals is convinced the “offer” they have been made is a trick to bring about the speedy ending that Moran must desire, but she can’t see how.  Time passes and nothing happens.  Worrals thinks that Moran would want to kill them in an “accident” so he has probably done something to their aircraft.  Eventually, Worrals goes outside.  Nothing happens so she goes to check the machine.  “Beginning with the controls, she sets to work to make a thorough examination of the aircraft.  She worked quickly and methodically for an hour without finding anything out of order.  Worrals tests the fuel and sees tiny white specks of crystal.  They have put sugar in the main fuel tank.  “An internal combustion engine, running on such fuel quickly overheats and takes fire”.  Worrals returns to Frecks and Janet with a plan.  They will take off using the gravity tank, which is unaffected, then fake a crash landing and burn oil to create the impression that they have crashed.  They will then walk to the villain’s car and Janet can drive to Oodnadatta to go and get Dan Terry.  This plan is put into action as soon as they have buried Maginty, the dog.  It’s a four mile walk from where they land the aircraft to the car and Janet sets off on the long drive to Oodnadatta.  The time is eleven and they expect her back by sundown.  Worrals and Frecks return to the house.