by Capt. W. E. Johns



2.         OPERATION DISTAFF  (Pages 23 – 35)


Two days later Worrals and Frecks are checking into the Hotel Medina in Alexandria and asking for room 14.  They meet with, what appears to be an obsequious Egyptian waiter, but who in fact turns out to be an English spy and their contact, Melinos.  Worrals tells him she intends to start by getting into the dope racket and she needs some dope to sell.  Melinos says they have recently seized a big load of charas, the Indian form of hashish.  Worrals also says she needs an aircraft and a native boat.  Her cover story will be that she has flown the stuff in from India.  Melinos says he will organise both for her.  It is agreed that at 9.45 pm that evening, Worrals and Frecks will leave the hotel and they will be accosted by a native who will offer to show them the sights.  They will engage his services and he will take them to the boat which will be loaded with the drugs.  Melinos leaves to prepare and Worrals praises spies.  “They join up in an unseen army, the army that lubricates the wheels of our foreign policy.  Most of the public are not even aware of their existence, yet their lives are one long ghastly risk.  They’re always in the front line.  One mistake and they’ve had it.  If they win their underground war – well, no one is the wiser.  If they lose, no one knows that, either.  No casualty lists for them.  One day, when I’ve got a lot of money, I’ll raise a statue to these fellows”.