by Captain W. E. Johns
3. BEYOND THE BLUE HORIZON (Pages 37 – 48)
Seven weeks later, Worrals and Frecks, arrive at Outside Island, in a discontinued prototype flying-boat amphibian, called a Seafarer. This plane was classified as a Long Distance Sea-Air Rescue, but although built and paid for, became immediately obsolescent at the end of the war. It was a monoplane with accommodation for passengers in addition to crew, powered by a single Bristol Mercury radial air-cooled engine of nearly nine hundred horse power, with a top speed of 150 mph. Installation of an auxiliary fuel tank gave it a range of more than two thousand miles. In the meantime, some of Worrals questions have been answered. The natives had previously landed on the island over a year before and it was uninhabited then. No registered ships had disappeared in the area in the last two years and only three ships had disappeared without trace anywhere in the world. A French freighter named ‘Babette’ travelling from London to East Africa, a cattle-boat travelling from Buenos Aires to Bristol and a privately owned luxury steam yacht named ‘Vanity’ on a pleasure cruise from Cowes to California via the Panama Canal. The owner was a Lady Amelia Haddington, daughter of a deceased millionaire ship-owner. Worrals and Frecks land on the southern of two lagoons and get out to explore. The lagoon is completely calm and clear and Frecks asks Worrals what she is going to wear. “I think a bathing costume is the best thing; then we can potter about in the water as much as we like. I shall wear a cotton frock over mine. I know what sunburn can do. Too much ultra-violet – and there’s plenty of it here – will tear your skin off as fast as boiling water. We shall have to wear beach shoes or we’ll be cutting out feet on the coral. Don’t forget your dark glasses. This glare is going to be hard on the eyes. Better put something on your head too. We don’t want sunstroke to complicate matters”.