by W. E. Johns



14.   A MATTER OF WITS  (Pages 180 – 190)


Worrals speaks with Wolfe and says she knows he wants the gold and that they, Worrals and Frecks, don’t want it to fall into the hands of Nazi conspirators.  Worrals says that Anna Shultz is likely to go with the man who has the gold, and they can help him get it.  Worrals offers to fly him down to the prospectors and there he can negotiate his share of the gold.  They can fill bags with sand to give to Hanstadt later.  “All this, of course, was so much verbal camouflage.  All Worrals really wanted was to get Wolfe down to Larwood and Hedin, when he could be put under arrest”.  Wolfe says the remaining sailors will not allow anyone to leave.  He heard Hanstadt giving the sailors orders.  Worrals suggests Wolfe invites the sailors into the Box for refreshment.  They could lock them in.  The six sailors are more than happy to accept an offer of a drink and Wolfe drugs all six of them.  They collapse one by one.  The unteroffizier, pulls his gun but drops senseless over the weapon.  Worrals asks if they are dead but Wolfe says they will be all right in a few hours.  As Wolfe puts his bottle back in a cupboard, a receptacle inset between a steel longeron and two ribs of the airframe, Worrals handcuffs him and puts the other handcuff over the longeron.  “There was a sharp double click as the locks snapped home”.  Worrals tells him he is under arrest for murder and he goes mad.  “He cursed until he foamed at the mouth. A trapped wild beast could not have put up a more terrible exhibition of impotent fury.  But it served no useful purpose.  Steel longerons do not break easily; neither do handcuffs”.  Leaving him trapped, Worrals and Frecks leave.