WORRALS GOES AFOOT
First Published on 29th August 1949* - 184 pages
* This information is taken from a letter from A. P. Watt & Son to W. E. Johns in my collection
(For the first time in a Worrals book published by Lutterworth Press, Johns is credited as Capt. W. E. Johns)
The cover art is signed “Heade”. This is Reginald Heade (born Reginald Cyril Webb) 1901 – 1957, a well known book illustrator.
Click on the dust jacket below to enlarge
The original first edition dust jacket – showing the original book price of 6 shillings.
WORRALS GOES AFOOT - STORY SUMMARY
Air Commodore Raymond brings Cedric Collington (known as Colin Pasha) from the Foreign Office to meet with Worrals and Frecks. A road is being built to link the Sudan with Southern Transjordania and part of it is crossing the Sinai Peninsula. The local natives are being supplied with weapons and ammunition to stop the building of the road and Collington wants help in finding out who the smugglers are and how the guns are getting into the country. Worrals and Frecks go to Alexandria and stay in the Hotel Medina. Here they meet with Colin Pasha's agent, Melinos. Worrals has an idea and borrows a hundred seers (a seer is about two pounds in weight) of charas (an Indian form of hashish) which has been seized. She then goes to see a suspected drug dealer, called Nicopoulos, and offers to sell him the drugs, saying that she has flown it in. A Julius Markoff then attends at the Hotel Medina to complete the transaction and Worrals asks to meet with his boss. She is taken secretly to meet a five man syndicate who agree to buy the charas for £5000 on condition she stops selling drugs as it will affect their market and that would have unpleasant consequences for Worrals. Worrals asks if she can sell other the items she has, guns and ammunition. The syndicate are not interested in the weapons but Julius Markoff is. Markoff sends Worrals and Frecks on a long journey with a letter of introduction to meet someone who would be interested in buying the guns. Worrals takes with her, another agent and friend of Melinos, called Maki, to act as translator. Travelling by native boat to Douba, the boat meets with a steamer and loads boxes of small arms ammunition on board. The boat then travels on to its secret destination. However, a Government boat intercepts the native boat and Worrals has to bluff it out. Worrals is taken on board the Government boat and is surprised to find Melinos on board. He has come with an urgent message. The identity of Worrals and Frecks is known and Markoff has now sent people to kill them. Worrals insists on continuing with the mission. Worrals is returned to her boat and the crew are happy in the belief that Worrals has prevented them from being searched. The next complication is when another boat, sent by Markoff, attacks them. Worrals is able to persuade her crew the attacking boat is a pirate ship and by a clever ruse causes her pursuers to run aground. Arriving at her destination, Worrals and Frecks meet with Sheikh Abd-el-Katil on the beach. They then travel up to a plateau to meet a man calling himself Mr. Cosmo. Here, a deal is done for Worrals to sell the guns she purports to have and for her to be paid in British pound notes. Cosmo then leaves by caravan. Maki can see the beach and sees the pursuing boat arrive. It means that very shortly their cover will be blown. Maki is sent to take the information they have gathered back to Melinos whilst Worrals and Frecks steal the only two horses on the plateau and set off after the caravan. This they do just in time as a runner has arrived from the beach. Cosmo's caravan stops at an oasis and when it is dark Worrals and Frecks move up to get water. Here they see where the guns are buried. Sheik Abd-el-Katil arrives to warn Cosmo that Worrals and Frecks are Government agents. Getting water and returning to where the horses were left, the girls find that the horses have gone. They then face a desert walk back to the sea in the hope of meeting a Government boat. After signalling to a passing plane both Worrals and Frecks are captured by Arabs and taken back to Cosmo. Cosmo plans to beat the girls to make them talk before killing them, but they are saved by the timely arrival of paratroopers landing at the oasis. Both Cosmo and the Sheik are killed in the resulting battle. Colin Pasha and Melinos arrive to tell our heroines that Maki had been picked up and their signal to the plane had been received, so he was able to organise their rescue in the nick of time.
With the exception of the frontispiece, there are no story illustrations in this book – and the frontispiece is merely the upper part of the cover illustration!
Click on the picture below to see it in more detail
Worrals Goes Afoot
Subtitle - none
Publication Details - published by Lutterworth Press