by Captain W. E. Johns



12.   HARD GOING  (Pages 150 – 157)


Frecks had run down the sandy beach during the storm, where she was at risk from flying coconuts.  Frecks reaches the coral reef that leads out to the islets where the plane is concealed and looks behind her.  She sees a white-clad figure following her and realises it is the doctor.  Frecks runs along the coral as the doctor opens fire at her and then she jumps into the water and swims out to the plane.  More shots are fired at her.  Getting into the plane, “The first thing she did was to get out of her wet clothes, have a rub down, and get into dry ones for while she was not in the least cold, she had no intention of starting on a long flight in a state of discomfort”.  She starts to take off and the machine “became at once the plaything of the winds”.  Frecks manages to take off and gain some altitude and fly away.  Glancing down, she sees a long dark object just making the passage through the reef into the lagoon that she has just left.  Frecks tries the radio, but finds it is useless in the charged atmosphere around her.  Frecks “resigned herself to the boredom which usually accompanies a long flight over unchanging scenery, when there is really nothing for the pilot to do”.