Biggles and Cruise of the Condor
W. E. Johns
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A dull murmur, like distant thunder, reached their ears and brought Biggles to his feet with a rush. 'What is it?' he gasped.-At the first sound Dickpa had leapt for the flashlight. 'Quick,' he snapped, as the floor of the cave sagged sickeningly. 'Get out - it's an earthquake! Ah - stop!' he screamed. A visit to Biggles' uncle, Dickpa, lands Biggles, Algy and mechanic Smyth in a dangerous adventure looking for an ancient Inca treasure hoard.
to the others with a queer grimace. 'It looks as if we've got to get busy—' 'By Jingo it does!' cried Algy, starting up and pointing towards the bank some distance above the place where Carter had just gone ashore. 'He was only just in time. I don't like the look of this little lot coming now.' Biggles swung round on his heel and took one look at a large launch that was churning the river into foam as it sped towards them. A group of men in uniform stood near the bow. 'Swing the prop, Smyth,'
I'm worried about; and that, without knowing a single word of Portuguese—I think that's the lingo they talk here—may be a wee bit difficult. You'll have to stay here and look after the machine,' he went on firmly. 'I'll take Smyth with me on this trip into the town. No! It's no use arguing about it,' he went on quickly. 'I know you'd like to come, and I'd like to have you with me, but you're the only other one of the party who can fly, so you must stay with the machine. If we lose that, we're
more likely to be farther north, in Ecuador.' Dickpa looked long and searchingly across the gardens, taking care not to expose himself, before he continued. 'Unfortunately, I had with me as carriers a very bad lot. Porters are difficult to obtain in Brazil at any time, and they are always unreliable. I had four men and an Indian-Brazilian, named Philippe Nunez, was the worst of the lot; a coward, a thief, and a liar. He is outside in the park somewhere at this moment.' 'Well, let's go and shoot
king condors. The others had little to relate. They had spent a very uncomfortable night on the open plateau, incidentally getting drenched to the skin in the storm that had scared Biggles during his night in the shelter on the cliff. In the morning, not knowing whether he had succeeded in finding a way down, they had repaired to the top of the pyramid, from where they had seen the rubber tapper's discovery of the Condor, Biggles's subsequent arrival, and the dramatic sequel. With a smile,
the gunner; but it instantly swept round in a manner that left no doubt as to the intentions or ability of its pilot. Biggles knew the crew of the Curtiss were deliberately trying to shoot them down, under the impression that the cabin of the Condor contained treasure literally worth a king's ransom. If they succeeded, the flying-boat could return to its base, and its crew afterwards return, on foot, to the crash. His lips parted in the cold, mirthless smile that had become an unconscious habit