Biggles and the Gun Runners

Biggles and the Gun Runners

W. E. Johns

Language: English

Pages: 117


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Biggles retires from the Air Police in the hope of being recruited elsewhere. He is hoping to infiltrate a gun running racket who are believed to be selling guns to rebels in African countries and helping to provoke civil war. After advertising, Biggles is approached by a Count Alexander Stavropulos and offered a generous wage to fly for him. Biggles is taken by plane to Noriovika, a village in northern Greece where the Count has a private airfield. Here, he is shocked to find Roderick Canson, a crooked ex-RAF pilot who Biggles has previously seen imprisoned in BIGGLES AND THE BLACK MASK. Luckily, the Count already knows that Biggles is an ex-policeman so Canson cannot expose him. Canson and a pilot called Jumbo Brady are sent on a routine delivery to Africa but a message is later received that their Constellation plane has crashed in an area known as the Sudd. Biggles is assigned as co-pilot to Sandy Grant and they are both sent out in a another Constellation aircraft to rescue Canson, Brady and their cargo. On route, Biggles and Sandy are forced to land by a military plane piloted by Lieutenant I'Nobo of the Congolese Air Force. I'Nobo searches their plane, finding nothing, but says he has been tipped off that a Constellation is smuggling guns to rebels in the Congo and he has orders to stop it. Canson, who has seen the plane come down, makes his way to them and tells Biggles that his Constellation was also forced down, but has not yet been found by the Congolese Army. Biggles, Sandy and Canson return to Canson's Constellation aircraft. Canson is adamant that his cargo is farm machinery and he is astonished to find it is actually guns when Biggles opens the crates up. The guns are hidden in the surrounding bush, as to be found with them would mean death for all of them. During the night, Canson returns to Biggles' aircraft and steals it to escape, leaving Biggles and Sandy stranded with the original Constellation which is bogged down and can't be flown. Canson gets his comeuppance when I'Nobo shoots him down in flames, an event shown on the dust cover of the book. Brady returns to join the party, having been away seeking help. He is followed by Sergeant Ducard of the Congolese Army, with whom Biggles soon falls out. Lieutenant I'Nobo arrives just in time to stop trouble. Ducard and his men leave, but then one of them, called Christmas, deserts, to escape from Ducard and join Biggles and the others. This brings Ducard back and another dangerous confrontation is only avoided by the timely arrival of Algy and Ginger. They have come out to the Congo with the Count, who is trying to sort out what is happening with his planes. He truly has no knowledge of any smuggling as he received the items for delivery ready packed and the Greek Government set a trap for the real culprits behind the smuggling operation.

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being anyone else.’ He let out a shout. It was answered immediately. ‘Where are you?’ came faintly through the still air. ‘This way,’ returned Biggles. He continued to call from time to time. ‘Okay,’ came the voice, now close. ‘It’s Canson,’ said Sandy. He was right. Presently Canson appeared, staggering out of a belt of reeds on the edge of open space. He was mud up to the waist and walked like a man at the end of his strength. Coming up he sank down and gave Biggles a hard look. ‘So it’s

know a trick or two.’ ‘Okay. She’s all yours.’ Sandy’s face was white. ‘It’s not so bad when you get used to it,’ Biggles said calmly. ‘Don’t worry. Everyone gets butterflies inside first time. Hang on.’ ‘D’you think you can make it?’ asked Sandy anxiously. ‘It depends on what experience this fellow has had. If, as I suspect from the way he’s flying, he’s young and green at the game, we may get away with it.’ A swift look at the sky revealed the fighter coming in for another attack. The

‘Who’s doing the ordering?’ ‘I don’t know. They don’t say and I haven’t asked them. You told me to ignore all signals.’ ‘Okay. You can tell ‘em to go to hell.’ ‘I wouldn’t take that line. They might decide to send us there.’ ‘How do they reckon they’re going to do that?’ ‘I wouldn’t know, but from the way they talk they seem sure they’ve got the edge of us. They say they’ve given us fair warning. If we go on we shall have to be prepared to take the consequences.’ ‘What do you take that to

permit.’ ‘When the Sudan authorities hear about this you may find you do. But never mind that. What nonsense is this about being under arrest?’ ‘You are smuggling weapons into the Congo.’ ‘What gave you that curious idea?’ ‘We know.’ ‘How can you know what is in this plane?’ ‘I saw the telegram.’ ‘What are you talking about? What telegram?’ Having formed the impression that the half-breed was not over-intelligent, Biggles was really only talking to lead him on in the hope that he would let

so it was sold off in job lots for anything it would fetch — rifles at a few shillings each. This was where unscrupulous traders stepped in. In what we call the undeveloped countries, where men still hunted for their food with bows and arrows, a rifle was worth its weight in gold. It was to these people that the unwanted arms of Europe went. Most civilized countries put an embargo on the sale of rifles and guns to natives in its own particular colonies, but that didn’t prevent a crooked tramp

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