First Published on 4th July 1950* - 173 pages
* This information is taken from a letter from A. P. Watt & Son to W. E. Johns in my collection
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 INVESTIGATES - STORY SUMMARY
Worrals is asked by Air Commodore Raymond to investigate mysterious happenings on Outside Island near the Paumotu archipelago in the South Seas. A red-haired woman has shot at natives. Flying out with Frecks in a prototype flying-boat amphibian, Worrals goes to investigate. On the island, Worrals and Frecks find a wrecked boat named "Cleopatra" but Frecks discovers that it is really the "Vanity", a yacht that has been reported as missing. Locked up in the wrecked yacht is a native girl called Mari who has been beaten. The weather begins to decline and Worrals goes to look after their aircraft whilst Frecks explores further. A red-haired woman with a rifle captures Frecks. When Frecks doesn't return, Worrals goes to find her. Worrals meets a girl called Mabel Stubbs who tells Worrals that there are 20 girls being held against their will. Mabel had got a job with Miss Amelia Haddington, an eccentric millionaire, who has gone mad after the man she loved married someone else. Amelia has brought everybody to the Island where she can rule as Queen without any men. Amelia has eight other people running the Island with her, having made a will in their favour to buy their loyalty. One is a Doctor Borran, the red-head, and the others include Amelia's two nurses, Lily and Rose. Worrals goes to confront them all, in the Coral Palace where they live. Taking both Mabel and Mari with her, plus a gun, Worrals confronts Amelia whilst she is dining with her "ministers". Establishing that the captive girls all want to leave, Worrals takes charge and has Amelia, who is plainly insane, confined to her room. Other troublemakers are locked up, but the red-haired Dr. Borran, nicknamed 'The Geranium' escapes with a rifle. By this time, the weather is getting worse and worse. Frecks has to fly to get transport to take the girls off the island. On her journey to the aircraft Dr. Borran shoots at her. The next morning, Worrals finds Dr. Borran dead with an arrow in her back. She had previously shot at natives, killing one, and they had returned for their revenge. Frecks is able to signal a friendly ship and they call at the island to help evacuate the girls who want to leave. Amelia and her loyal "ministers" elect to stay on the Island and Worrals concludes that it is not for her to force them to leave. She thinks it is only her job to rescue the people being held against their will. Later, Worrals hears that the island has been swept clean by a tropical storm and inundated with water. There were no survivors. Talking with Air Commodore Raymond, Worrals' last line is "There'll be plenty of time for doughnuts when we're too old to get around".
This was the last "Worrals" book ever written by William Earl Johns
Click on the picture below to see it in more detail
NB - The frontispiece is merely the upper part of the cover illustration!
Subtitle - A further adventure in the career of Joan Worralson and her friend "Frecks" Lovell, one time of the W.A.A.F.
Publication Details - published by Lutterworth Press