WORRALS IN THE WASTELANDS
by W. E. Johns
4. STRANGE DEVELOPMENTS (Pages 49 – 60)
The next morning, Worrals and Frecks go exploring taking with them two haversacks with rations and a flask of tea. They take the rifle with them and take turns carrying it. The going is rough as where the ground is not rocky, it is boggy. It takes them two hours to go four miles. By noon they have gone eight or nine miles and they find a cairn: A heap of stones made by man presumably covering a body. It may be Larwood and Hedin speculates Frecks but Worrals says a murderer wouldn’t go to so much trouble. Seeing blood on the ground nearby Worrals goes to investigate. She finds a wounded bear and backs slowly away. Worrals says “Whoever shot that bear ought to be thrown to it. The first rule in shooting dangerous game is never to leave a wounded beast. Apart from leaving the wretched animal to die in agony, it isn’t the hunter who gets it; it’s the first innocent traveller who comes along”. Stopping for lunch the girls hear music. The Merry Widow Waltz. It’s a radio that they can hear. Some two hundred yards away at the bottom of a landslide they can make out a radio aerial. Then they see two men step out from behind rocks, one dressed in a black or dark-blue suit with a beard trimmed in the imperial style. The other was a tall man, slim and fair with a wisp of light moustache. Neither is Rumey as the girls have seen a photograph of him. Worrals recognises the tall man as Larwood as the description of Larwood fits perfectly. The men are “laughing and talking as if life were one big joke”. The girls decide to return to their camp, giving a wide berth to the area of scrub where the wounded bear is.