by Captain W. E. Johns
2. MORE COFFEE FOR THREE (Pages 20 – 36)
Air Commodore Raymond says there may be some foundation to the story. A passing sloop was asked to call at the island and when they approached they were shot at and a sailor was hit in the arm. They didn’t see their assailants. They didn’t want to risk any casualties by storming the island so they returned to their ship. Raymond said that it has only struck him now that it would be far cheaper to send a plane to investigate. “I’m bearing in mind that if by any remote chance there should be females on the island you would be better able to cope with them than men. Women might be prepared to greet other women with something less hostile than gun shots”. Raymond tells Worrals that the Admiralty has no record of any ship calling at this island since 1906. Worrals wants to know if the natives had called at the island before. If they had and if they found it uninhabited, then that would give them a rough idea as to when it became occupied. Worrals asks if women are there, has anybody missed them? Where are they from? Worrals also wants to know what ships have disappeared in that location, as that may give a clue as to how the people on the island got there. Raymond says people go missing all the time, but he does recall a period up to two years ago when around twenty different women from all walks of life, went missing in a single month. Worrals other questions can only be answered by further investigation. Raymond leaves with a wave and a smile. Worrals and Frecks remain to discuss the matter further. Worrals can’t believe the natives were making the story up. “Native imagination will go a long way but don’t ask me to believe that it will go as far as that. These men themselves live on a lonely atoll. They can have seen very few white women in all their lives. They’d have about as much chance of seeing a woman with red hair as a dwarf would have of getting into the Life Guards. I doubt if they know that there are women with red hair”. Worrals wonders how anyone got to the island. “What ship? When? Where is it now?” Worrals thinks it is worth going through Lloyd’s Register of missing ships covering the past three or four years, confining themselves to that particular part of the Pacific as it is far from the main traffic routes. Worrals tells Frecks that some people want to maroon themselves on desert islands as Alexander Selkirk did, inspiring the book, Robinson Crusoe. Worrals concludes by saying “We shall have to go to Outside Island to get the answers”.