WORRALS GOES AFOOT
by Capt. W. E. Johns
3. WORRALS BAITS HER TRAP (Pages 36 – 49)
Worrals and Frecks are met by a man called Abdullah at the
appointed time. Frecks is not
impressed. “That dirty tough looks as if
he’d cut our throats for a couple of piasters”.
He takes the girls to an “evil-smelling building” at the end of the
waterfront and “Abdullah” suddenly reveals himself as Melinos in disguise! Here, he introduces the girls to two Somalis,
both former Askari soldiers, father and son, called Maki and Ali,
respectively. These two men are loyal
and trustworthy natives. Worrals looks
at the charas. “Is that stuff really a
narcotic?” she asked incredulously. “A
piece the size of a hazel nut, well chewed, would put you on the floor for a
long time,” asserted Melinos. “It’s good
quality”. There are a hundred ‘seers’ of
the stuff and a seer is about two pounds in weight. Melinos says it would retail for five
thousand pounds. Melinos has told
Worrals about a carpet merchant suspected of being in the drug trade and
Worrals and Frecks goes to see the man.
His name is Nicopoulos. Melinos
warns Worrals, “Just get it clear in your head that to an Arab a woman is a
mere chattel, worth less than a horse or a good dog”. Melinos says he will go with them and wait in
the area. At the carpet shop, Nicopoulos
is willing to see the women and he is impressed by the quality of the sample of
their merchandise. However, the quantity
is too much for him to buy. “We are not
asking you to,” returned Worrals imperturbably.
“We’re going to start in business on our own account. For this we need two things: agents to sell
the stuff for us and a safe place to store it.
Are you interested in that way?”
Nicopoulos asks for time to think about it and Worrals tells him the
hotel and room number where they can be reached. The girls then leave to be guided back to
their hotel, discretely, by Melinos.