by Capt. W. E. Johns



10.   INTO THE WILDERNESS  (Pages 132 – 143)


As soon as Mali has left, Worrals sends Frecks to go and untie the two horses that have been left behind.  Worrals calmly gets a water-skin filled with precious water, essential for any trip in the desert.  They then put bridles and saddles on the horses.  Suddenly there is a shout and an exhausted Danakil has arrived from the beach.  “It needed little effort to guess the information he had brought”.  The girls bolt on the horses as bullets start to fly around them.  Once out of range, the girls slow down as they don’t want to catch up the caravan that left earlier.  Worrals is hoping the caravan will lead to Cosmo’s main dump as that is all she wants to know and then they can see about getting back.  The girls and the horses have to stand the fierce heat of the desert as they journey.  Eating their meagre supplies of fruit and chocolate and drinking sparingly, they travel until the sun goes down.  “That sun would have killed an English horse unless it was watered regularly.  We’ll give ours a drink and have one ourselves” says Worrals.  Worrals explores ahead, beyond an outcrop of rocks, and sees in the distance what looks like the top of palms.  That must be an oasis where the caravan has stopped.  Worrals plans to wait for the moon to come up and then to reconnoitre the oasis.  First they rest and share their fruit and chocolate.  “I think it’s time we were moving,” said Worrals, rising.



Below is the actual handwritten first page of this chapter by W. E. Johns.  Note the addition of the chapter title in pencil, presumably at a later date.  The typed text is to assist reading.




This page appears to have become separated from the rest of the manuscript because W. E. Johns pulled it out to write a list on the back. 

The list, shown below, would appear to a list of plants or bulbs.  I don’t know if the manuscript for this book still exists, but if it does,

I would love to reunite it with this missing page.  If you have it, contact me at rogerharris@biggles.info