A further adventure in the career of Joan Worralson and her friend “Frecks” Lovell, one time of the W.A.A.F.
by Captain W. E. Johns
First printed August 1950
1. COFFEE FOR THREE (Pages 7 – 19)
“If Joan Worralson, better known to her friends as Worrals, hadn’t run into Air Commodore Raymond, Assistant Commissioner of Police at Scotland Yard, by accident in Piccadilly, the mysterious happenings on Outside Island might have remained a mystery for all time. With her friend, Betty – otherwise “Frecks” Lovell, she had just turned out of the Burlington Arcade, where they had been shopping, when they came face to face with the Air Commodore”. Raymond takes the two girls for coffee at Stewart’s and tells them about an incident at a British territory called ‘Outside Island’, a lonely atoll lying three hundred miles east of the Paumotus. Shaped roughly like a letter ‘S’ and about nine miles long by half a mile wide. In the middle of the last century a religious zealot went there and effectively turned all the natives into slaves, making them build him a palace out of coral. In due course, huge seas washed right over the island leaving not a soul alive. The island is supposed to be uninhabited but there has been a complaint from the French Foreign Office that some of their Polynesian nationals at sea in one of their big canoes tried to land for fresh water and were shot at. One native was killed. The natives say the attackers were white women, one of whom, they describe as having red hair. Raymond is sceptical but Worrals suspects the story may be true. What make up such a fantastic lie? Raymond speculates there may be castaways on the island but Worrals is not convinced. They would want to be rescued, not shoot at people to keep them away. Raymond has more to tell and orders more coffee.