[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

But there was, of course. There was Jack. But what was Jack to DO?
Chapter 13
JACK stared in distress at the four children being bundled into the car Philip and Dinah at the back
with three men, and Gussy and Lucy-Ann in front with the driver. What a crowd! If anyone saw the
car going along with such a number of people in, surely it would be noticed and stopped?
 Yes, it would, thought Jack,  so that means they can t be going very far they will arrive at
their destination before daylight. Are they going to take them to some hiding-place fairly near then?
Why in the world have they got Philip and the girls as well as Gussy?
Everyone was now in the car. The doors were shut as quietly as possible. The engine was started
up and just at that very moment Jack had an idea!
He ran, crouching, to the back of the car. He hadn t had time to shut the luggage boot properly
when he had opened it to look inside. Could he get into it before the car drove off? It was such a
fine big one.
The car began to move very slowly out of the quarry, bumping over rough places. Jack flung
himself at the back of it, and clambered up on to the luggage boot. It swung right open, and Jack
half-fell into it. Kiki was astounded, and flew off his shoulder at once. Jack stared at her anxiously.
He dared not call her back.
But, as soon as she saw Jack settled in the boot, she flew down again, and found his shoulder.
She talked solemnly into his ear, in a very low voice, trying to tell him in parrot language that she
thought these goings-on were extremely peculiar, but that so long as Jack approved of them, she did
too and she was coming with him, even in this dark, smelly car boot!
Jack felt comforted to have her. He puzzled over everything. Where was Bill? And Aunt Allie?
How was it these fellows had been able to get into Quarry Cottage so easily and capture every one?
But what had they done with Bill? Was he lying knocked out in the cottage? Ought Jack to have
gone to see, instead of climbing into the boot?
The car had now gathered speed and was going down country lanes very fast. It drew up once, at
some dark little house, where a man came out. There was another car there and one of the men in
the first car thankfully got out and went to the second car. This went on ahead, as if guiding the
other. Jack was glad. He didn t want bright head-lights behind him, showing him sitting in the
 I ought to close the boot and shut myself in. But suppose I can t get it open again? he thought.
 I simply must see what place they re taking the others to. If I can do that, I can soon raise the
alarm, have the place surrounded, and everyone rescued! I hope no one sees me here.
Another hour s run in the smooth-running powerful car then it stopped. There was a sharp
exchange of words, a light flashed, and a gate creaked open.
 Hallo! We re here already, wherever that may be! thought Jack.  Had I better get out now,
while the car has stopped? Blow it s too late. They re going on again.
The car bumped over a dark field. And then suddenly a strange, extraordinarily loud noise
started up not far ahead. Jack jumped violently, and Kiki gave a loud screech, which fortunately
couldn t possibly be heard in the enormous noise going on.
 An aeroplane! said Jack.  So that s what they ve planned. They re going off to Tauri-Hessia!
They must be. And they ll hide Gussy somewhere till their plans are all ready, and the girls and
Philip with him. Nobody will know where they are.
He felt the car come to a stop with a bump. He crawled out of the boot at once, and ran to a big
shape looming up nearby. It was a lorry. Jack crouched beside it, watching.
He saw an aeroplane not far off, its propellers whirring. It hadn t all its lights on yet, but men
were round it with lamps. It was obviously soon going to take off.
What was this place? A private airfield? Jack had no idea at all. He watched all the passengers in
the big black car tumbling out, one after the other. He thought he heard Lucy-Ann crying, and his
heart sank. She would hate all this! She wasn t tough, like Dinah. Where would she be tomorrow?
Everyone was hurried towards the plane. Jack left his hiding-place and hurried too. He had had
another idea! Could he hide in the plane? He had hidden in the car, and no-one had suspected it.
Would there be any place to hide in the plane?
He thought of the planes he had flown in. The luggage-space would be the only place. There
probably wouldn t be much there. It was a risk, but he d take it. If he was discovered, well, at least
he d be with the others.
 But I mustn t be discovered! he thought desperately.  If I am I ll be hidden away somewhere
too and I simply must find out where the others are being taken, so that I can somehow get word
to Bill.
Kiki came to his help, quite unexpectedly. She didn t see why she shouldn t talk to the others,
whose voices she had recognized as soon as she heard them getting out of the car. She left Jack s
shoulder and flew towards Lucy-Ann.
 Pop goes the weasel! she cried.  God save the King! Send for the doctor!
The four children in front turned round in utter amazement.  Kiki! KIKI! How did you get here?
The men pushing them forward stopped at once. They had no idea that Kiki was only a parrot,
and had not even spotted her in the darkness. They thought she must be someone coming after the
children, on the airfield, someone quite unexpected, who had followed them!
Orders were shouted. Lamps flashed here and there. Kiki was frightened and flew back to Jack.
 Wipe your feet! she called, much to the amazement of the men with the lamps.
Jack ran round the other side of the lorry, for the men were coming too near him. Then he saw
his chance. Everyone s attention was on the men who were searching the field with lamps. Nobody
was watching the plane.
Jack ran to it in the darkness, stumbling as he went. Thank goodness the moon had conveniently
gone behind a remarkably black cloud. He felt a drop of rain. Perhaps the moon wouldn t come out
till he was safely in the plane.
He reached the plane, and thankfully saw the steps up to it. He ran up and found himself in the
plane. No one was there. He groped his way to the back, where he hoped to find the luggage-space.
He felt something that was shaped like a crate. Yes this must be where they put the luggage! He
felt round again, and came across a box. It had a lid, and he lifted it up, hoping that the box was
empty. [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]