by W. E. Johns



8.     WORSE AND WORSE  (Pages 97 – 110)


Worrals and Frecks wait but Wolfe does not come out.  Worrals decides to go and contact Larwood and Hedin as they are now alone.  They make their way to the entrance to the gorge when they are surprised to see Shultz coming the other way.  Shultz has walked along the lake and then into a shallow fold in the land leading to the gorge to go and join the men.  Worrals resists a suggestion of shooting her outright.  “That sort of thing would put us on her level”.  Shultz then waves at someone and Worrals and Frecks realise that Wolfe must be coming back behind them, so they hide.  The couple talk in German and Wolfe says he crushed his fingers between some rocks and returned to get them bandaged.  Shultz mentions that it is time they got rid of the other two men.  Wolfe wants to see or hear something of Hanstadt before they do that.  Hedin knows the country and can build a canoe.  They may need him.  The couple walk on into the gorge.  Worrals and Frecks decide to return to their base and try again tomorrow.  They hear in the distance, two gun shots in quick succession.  Frecks thinks it is Shultz and Wolfe committing murder but Worrals says the shots were too far away.  In which case the shots must have come from Lowenhardt.  Shultz and Wolfe return from the gorge.  It starts to rain and Worrals decides to go into the gorge to see if Larwood and Hedin are dead or alive.  She leaves Frecks at the entrance to the gorge to keep watch and warn her if Shultz and Wolfe are seen returning.  The gorge is a cul-de-sac, ending in a sheer face of rock several hundreds of feet high, over which water falls and is reduced to spray by its long passage through the air.  Two shovels have been flung down, but of the men there is no sign.  Looking at abandoned pans, Worrals see grains of gold, “the stuff for which men had killed each other since the world began, and would, presumably, go on killing each other until the end of Time”.  Worrals come out of the gorge to meet with Frecks only to find she is not there.  Frecks has disappeared.