Algy and the Rescue Flight: Chapter 6. Algy Works Things Out

By Sopwith

Disclaimer: I do not own, or claim to own, any of the Biggles series characters used in this work. This fan fiction was written for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered part of the official storyline.

The man came up to the door and knocked. Dusty turned to the others, raising his brows in a silent question.

Algy reached for his gun. “You might as well answer it and see what he wants,” he said wearily. “There’re three of us and only one of him, so it isn’t likely that he’s going to overpower us.”

Dusty crossed to the door and flung it open. The man spoke harshly, in Latvian. Dusty answered in the same language. A quick conversation ensued, which ended unexpectedly as the man stepped forward and pulled Dusty to his chest in a firm hug.

“What in the world?” muttered Algy, exchanging a confused look with Barnes.

“This is my aunt’s old gardener,” explained Dusty. “I thought he’d moved away when my aunt died, but apparently he still lives in his old hut just down the road. He was just coming home from the market when he saw the lights on in the cottage, so he stopped to investigate.”

The old man spoke again, quietly but insistently.

“He says it’s not safe here,” translated Dusty. “There are soldiers about looking for someone. He’s seen them on the roads.”

“Three guesses as to who they’re looking for,” growled Algy. “That bonfire we made of our plane must have been seen for miles around.”

The old man caught Dusty by the arm and poured out a stream of words, gesturing to the car outside as he did so. “He says we can take the car if we need to,” said Dusty.

“That’s a sound idea,” agreed Barnes. “It’s better than walking to the place, and this document is burning a hole in my pocket as it is.”

Dusty looked reluctant. “It’s a bit wretched to take his car,” he muttered. “It’s the only means of transport he and his wife have, and it’s not likely they can get another.”

“If we get out of this alive I’ll make sure they get a new one if it’s the last thing I do,” promised Algy. “It’s not much, I know, but under the current circumstances it’s the best I can do, I’m afraid.”

This Dusty duly translated to the old gardener, who waved away their concerns, pointing again at the car, stressing the urgency of the situation.

The old man pressed food on them as they got into the car. He also found some old cloths, and these he handed to Algy, pointing to the hastily bandaged cut on his head. Dusty hugged the old man again, and the two of them exchanged an emotional farewell before the gardener pulled away and indicated that Dusty should hurry to get away before the solders should come upon him.

Ten minutes later, they were on the road, heading for Riga.


Barnes redressed Algy’s head wound as Dusty drove, and then the two of them insisted that Algy should get some sleep whilst they took it in turns to drive the car. Algy made some half-hearted protests, but he soon gave up the battle and fell asleep in the back seat.

He woke some time later, to be informed by Dusty that they were nearly at their destination. “Shouldn’t be more than five or ten minutes,” said the younger man cheerfully.

“Thank goodness for that,” muttered Algy fervently. “We can at least do what we came here to do, which is something, anyway. Then we can worry about getting ourselves home.”

“We may have to lie low for a few days before we can do anything about getting home,” said Barnes soberly. “Still, we’ll see how it goes.”

“That’s—” began Algy, then stopped as the headlights of the car revealed a huddled figure on the side of the road. “Hold hard!” he cried. “What’s this?”

“We shouldn’t really stop,” objected Barnes, looking worried.

“That fellow’s clearly hurt,” said Algy, groping for the handle of the door as Dusty gradually pulled the car to a halt. “I can see blood on his clothes.”

He and Barnes got out of the car, Dusty following cautiously behind, and hurried over to the man. Algy reached him first, and gently touched the man on the shoulder. “Hello?” he said tentatively. “Hello? Can you hear me?”

The figure stirred and groaned, and then, with an effort, succeeded in turning itself onto its back, revealing the face of a fair-haired lad of perhaps twenty years old.

“By gosh!” cried Dusty. “It’s Ivan!”

“Ivan who?” demanded Algy, already helping the boy to sit up.

“He was the person we were to deliver the document to,” explained Dusty. “This can’t be good.” Turning to the wounded boy, he quickly murmured a question in Latvian. The other muttered a reply in the same language. Dusty’s expression became grim. “Their safe house has been raided,” he said. “One of their men was killed, and some others were captured. Ivan tried to fight the soldiers, but he was shot in the shoulder. Fortunately he had a chance to escape and he took it.”

Ivan shifted, struggling to get to his feet, panicked words tumbling out of his mouth. Dusty murmured something soothing and forced the exhausted boy back to a sitting position. Instead of calming Ivan down, this only seemed to add to his agitation.

“What’s the matter?” asked Algy.

“He wants us to go back and help the others,” translated Dusty. “Some of them are injured as well.”

“They’ve probably been rounded up by the soldiers by now,” objected Barnes.

To this, Ivan shook his head. “No, no,” he insisted, in broken English. “Some run—like me.”

The three of them exchanged glances. “I think he means that some of the other men managed to escape as well,” said Algy. Ivan nodded desperately. “Well, what does he want us to do about it? There’re only three of us, and we hardly have the resources to go up against an army. In fact, it would be a good idea to stop standing here; we might run into the soldiers.” Despite his pessimistic words, however, he made no attempt to move.

There was a brief silence. “What d’you think we should do?” asked Barnes, at length.

“Get him in the car, for a start,” said Algy, gesturing to Ivan.

“And then?”

Algy hesitated. “I’d say the best thing to do would be to get into the car ourselves and drive off as quickly as we can. However, I’m willing to take a dekko around the place to see if there’s anything we can do to help other casualties.”

“Now you’re talking,” declared Dusty.

“We can’t all go,” protested Algy. “All right, look. Barnes, you’d better stay with the car and see what you can do for this chap. Keep the engine going; we may need to leave in a hurry. I’ll take Dusty with me as he can speak Latvian and is more likely to be able to bluff his way out of an awkward situation if we run into one.”

To this Barnes agreed, and they parted ways.

Walking briskly, it took Algy and Dusty less than ten minutes to reach their destination. Fortunately, the area surrounding the safe house was densely populated with bushes, and this provided ample cover for the two of them as they crept up to the house.

They could see flames licking at the edges of the house; the soldiers must have set fire to it to destroy evidence of their raid. Algy turned his face away from the heat. It was obvious that anyone still in the house would have already been burnt to a crisp.

Instead, he turned his attention to the small group of sullen-faced prisoners that the soldiers were herding into a rickety bus that had clearly seen better days.

He was not really expecting to see anyone out of the ordinary. At the back of his mind had been the vague notion that he might be able to distract the soldiers and so help the prisoners to escape, but he soon saw that there were too many soldiers for his plan to work.

So he merely stared at the scene before him, willing his mind to come up with some sort of idea, when he was shaken out of his reverie by the sight of two very familiar faces: Biggles and Ginger.


To say that Algy was shocked would be putting it mildly. He was, to put it in his own words, completely flabbergasted. Biggles and Ginger were the last two people in the world that he had expected to see.

Was Bertie there as well? Algy quickly scanned the faces of the remaining prisoners. No Bertie. “He must have stayed with the plane,” he muttered to himself.

“What?” whispered Dusty.

“Nothing.” He was so close to his friends that had he reached out a hand he probably could have touched them, but he refrained from doing so. It would not help matters for him to be discovered and taken prisoner as well. Things were dire enough as it was.

There was nothing he could do but watch helplessly as Biggles and Ginger, along with all the other prisoners, were herded into the bus. The guards followed. There was a shouted command, and the doors closed with a sickening creak.

Algy was left staring hopelessly at the back of the fast departing bus as it clattered away down the road, almost unable to believe the evidence of his own eyes. He resisted the urge to pinch himself and see if this was all some horrible dream that he had fallen into.

“What’s the matter?” asked Dusty, speaking in his normal voice now that the bus had gone. “What did you see? You look as though you’d seen a ghost.”

“I feel as though I have,” admitted Algy, getting unsteadily to his feet. “Two of those prisoners were pals of mine—one of them was my chief, in fact. I hardly expected to see them here. Come on, there’s nothing more we can do here. We might as well get back to Barnes and see what to do next.”

Algy almost expected to find the car gone, so he felt an overwhelming wave of relief when he saw that it was still where they had left it.

Barnes and Ivan glanced up expectantly as Algy and Dusty approached. “Well?” said the former. “See anything?”

“Plenty,” said Algy grimly. “Amongst other things, a couple friends of mine. Dusty, ask Ivan what usually happens to prisoners in these parts.”

The question was put to Ivan, who replied that most political prisoners were taken to a prison camp a few miles away.

“And then?”

Ivan looked out the window and muttered that most of the prisoners were interrogated, and then put to death.

Algy felt the blood turn to ice in his veins. “And how soon do interrogations take place after they’re taken to the prison?”

Dusty looked uncomfortable as he translated the answer. “Ivan says all the prisoners could be put to death within two or three days.”


  1. I don't mind what happens to the younger of the two prisoners on the way to the camp.....

  2. You don't *really* mean that...

    Do you?

  3. Just trying to protect the important one from you, Soppy.

  4. Surely the important one is Algy?

  5. Algy's not under arrest and on his way to the prison camp with certain death in a day or two facing him. Biggles needs protecting more at the moment.Obviously this may change in the next chapter.

  6. Regardless of the circumstances, Algy will always be the important one to me.

    As for Biggles...well...we'll see what happens.... *evil grin*

    1. Yes, let’s see how Algy manages to rescue Biggles and Ginger, even though he’s been injured. Really, Soppy, they’re having a hard time.


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Maira Gall