by Capt. W. E. Johns



9.     WORRALS DOES A DEAL  (Pages 118 – 131)


When the girls wake in the morning, Mali brings them a bucket of water to wash in.  Worrals says to Frecks “There isn’t enough for a proper wash, but we shall have to manage.  I dipped the end of a towel in it and had a cat-lick.  I’d advise you to do the same”.  The girls are then taken to see a man “of obvious European descent”.  “High cheek bones and a pale, sallow skin suggested Slav blood in his ancestry.  A white scar over his right eye created a slightly sinister effect”.  He introduces himself as Mr. Cosmo.  “That is not my name, of course, but it is the one that I sometimes find convenient to use”.  Worrals tells him about the guns she purports to have and they make a deal for the sale and delivery of the guns (we are not told the price agreed).  Cosmo has to leave and goes off with the caravan.  “It comprised most of the cavalcade that had come up from the sea the previous evening, although there were now also some camels”.  The girls are initially planning to return the way they have come when Mali shows them something in the distance.  Where the pursuing boat had previously run aground, there was nothing, instead, the pursuing boat is now on the beach.  The news of who they really are has arrived.  Mali is sent back with the vital information, as a local, he should be able to easily pass.  Worrals and Frecks will need to find another way to get away.  “Farewell,” murmured the old man (Mali).  “If we live we shall be able to boast of this to our children”.  “Did you hear that?” breathed Frecks.  “We shall be able to boast of this to our children!  He must think white people delight in giving their children nightmares!  Anyway, our chance of having children never looked more dim than it does at this moment”.  “Stop babbling like an infant yourself and let’s get busy,” said Worrals tersely.  “We’ve things to do, and if my guess is right we haven’t much time to do them in”.