by W. E. Johns



11.   A THIEF IN THE NIGHT  (Pages 138 – 151)


Back at their base, they prepare a meal for themselves and Lowenhardt and change the dressings on his wound.  He had not fired the mystery shots, although he heard them and judged them to be about four miles south of their camp.  Worrals thinks it must have been Hanstadt on his way.  If he has arrived, then the two girls will no longer be needed and will be killed.  The next morning Worrals and Frecks fly up to collect Shultz and Wolfe as planned, although they are ready for anything.  Lowenhardt will stay in their tent with enough supplies for a week if need be.  When they land, Shultz and Wolfe are waiting for them.  Worrals gets out of the plane, leaving Frecks in the pilot’s seat ready to take off.  “There was no smile of welcome; no greeting, real or simulated.  Wolfe’s jaw was set at an ugly angle; the corners of his mouth were turned down; his lips were a thin line.  Shultz’s eyes were as hard as blue ice.  Her brows were drawn together in a hostile frown.  Neither spoke.  Neither moved”.  Worrals introduces herself.  They ask her to go to their cabin and she does and then they tell her that they have been robbed.  Wolfe says they had found gold and it has been stolen in the night.  They can’t leave without it.  Worrals is quickly thinking to herself and suspects that Larwood and Hedin must have taken the gold as they appear not to have come back.  Wolfe concedes that two men were working in the vicinity and may have taken it.  Worrals suspects that Shultz and Wolfe won’t let her and Frecks fly away if they are not going to go with them.  Worrals offers to fly around and look for the men.  Wolfe thinks this is a good idea.  Worrals gets back in the plane and Frecks vacates the pilot’s seat.  Worrals laughs and tells Frecks that somebody has stolen the gold.