WORRALS GOES AFOOT
by Capt. W. E. Johns
5. MARKOFF COMES BACK (Pages 63 – 78)
Back in their room, Worrals expresses
her disappointment to Frecks. “The people we saw had no interest in guns,
I’m sure of that. My every instinct
tells me that the old man spoke the truth when he said they never touched
weapons. Had he been, he would have
shown more interest in our proposition”.
“They seemed quite a decent crowd,” observed Frecks. “Don’t fool yourself,” said Worrals grimly.
“They behaved as they did because it suited them. Had it suited them to have our throats cut
they would have done it. Believe you me,
we’ve never been on thinner ice than we were in that room. One whiff of suspicion that we were
government agents and we shouldn’t have left the house alive”. They call for the waiter and Melinos comes in.
They tell him they have sold the charas to the
syndicate. “There’ll be one mighty row
about this, if it ever gets out” he says.
Worrals goes to bank the cheque and shortly
after she returns, Markoff returns to see them.
He offers to find them a buyer for their guns. He tells them that he controls everything for
his employers, boats, camels, porters – everything. “With such a widespread and efficient organization
at my disposal, it would be strange, would it not, if I did not employ it for
one or two sidelines of my own?” Worrals offers
Markoff two hundred and fifty pounds for an introduction to the potential
buyer, with a further two hundred and fifty pounds if the deal comes off, plus
ten per cent of the net profits. Markoff
says it will take a fortnight to get in touch with the buyer and get a
asks to go and see the man herself, with a letter of introduction from Markoff,
and an escort that he will provide. The
journey will be on water, foot and either horses or camels. When Markoff departs, Worrals
comments, “What a rogue that fellow must be!
It took me all my time not to be sick”.
They tell Melinos that they plan to go on this
journey and all they know is that it is somewhere the other side of the Gulf of
says she intends to take Maki with them to act as an interpreter if necessary
and be a messenger. Frecks
asks Melinos if he could get her a couple of pounds
of really good chocolates.