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.