A THRILLING NIGHT
All eight of the men stood waiting, apparently for their helicopter to arrive. They had finished up their job, the marsh was fully drained where they needed it to be. They had drained quite a wide space around where they assumed the ship had sunk so that, when the surrounding marsh land crept in towards the ship, they would have enough time to get to it before it was completely covered again. Bill and his other colleagues had planned to give the men a few moments to settle down, and then they would run out and arrest them quickly and pack them off into one of the cars. Bill nodded to the five new men and to Howard. Raymond didn’t come into any of these things. He studied machinery and he was here because of that, though if any help was needed, he would give it. And Sammy was trained to be disguised and act as another person, he too was not involved in any action. To the children’s astonishment, Bill and five others leapt out from beneath the canopy and raced towards the men. The enemies were so surprised they couldn’t move!
Bill managed to grab two men, roughly by the arms. One wriggled away and was caught deftly by Howard who had already caught one of the men, Mr Dickens, who was scowling most unpleasantly. The four men that the children didn’t know had caught five between them. All the men were caught! It had all happened in a split second, and the children felt quite dazed! The children watched the men be escorted down the hill two large cars, which they were all shoved into. The cars raced off down the hill. Bill, Howard, and two others returned. Two of the men were driving eight criminals off to prison! When the men got back Bill hissed to the children. “We’ll need your help children, I’m afraid. I never thought this out too well. There were eight men waiting and there are only four of us. We need four more to wait with us, so when the helicopter flies over, the men driving it, don’t figure out something’s up when they only see four of us.” The children were thrilled! Help Bill out and solve this case! Who could resist?
The children clamoured out from the willow tree and followed Bill to the exact spot where the men had waited. They felt rather giddy! Kiki kept silent, remaining on Jack’s shoulder. All eight waited, looking up into the sky now and again. Bill explained what was going to happen. “When the helicopter lands, we’ll all step on board and Howard, John, Fred, and I should be able to handle this one. If we are struggling, Raymond I want you to step in. We’ll then take them off down the hill and put them into the cars. I don’t know how many there will be this time, so you children are to be careful and keep as far back as you can. I dare say this could be more dangerous than it sounds.”
The children felt excited. They would be in the middle of all the excitement! Wait until they told their fellow school friends next term! Suddenly there came a distant throbbing noise. The children listened, Lucy-Ann trembling. Then a light appeared in the sky. Bill shone a torch up into the air to guide the men down. He hoped it would not show his face, or any of the others. The helicopter came closer and closer, and louder and louder. Everyone watched it coming in. It was most probably a stolen one from the military, as it had a sign on the side with the word printed on. The children were all trembling with excitement now, as they stared up at the great lying helicopter. They had never seen one of these before, only in books. Its propeller whirred round and round as it slowly lowered to the ground. Bill got everyone right back as the helicopter finally settled on the top of the hill. A door was thrown open and a step ladder let down. Bill climbed up first, and to the children’s surprise, he held a revolver in one hand. Howard climbed up next, then the children, Jack, Philip, Dinah then Lucy-Ann, then John and Fred. Lucy-Ann almost fell down the ladder in anxiety!
Further and further up they went, until they finally reached the top. Bill peered in cautiously. He saw five men sat in the control section, wearing goggles and helmets. They were all facing forwards. One of them turned round suddenly and saw Bill. “Hey!” he shouted, shoving the person who sat next to him. He too, turned round and saw Bill. He felt about in his pockets and produced a revolver. Bill hurried into the helicopter, while the man with the revolver tried to get out his seat. The others got up, and like Bill instructed, the children stayed at the back. All faces were turned to Bill now. The man edged closer, and cleverly knocked the revolver out his hand, and at once picked it up. Bill felt alarmed. Suppose this dangerous man harmed the children?
Bill nodded to Howard to arrest the other men, however the man with the revolver threw the pilot one, however it fell onto the control panel, hitting a button, causing the helicopter to rise slowly up in the air and start going. The children were all scared by now, and Lucy-Ann was crying. Bill had had his revolver taken off him, and they were flying dangerously through the night. Howard stepped back against the wall. “Now you all sit in that room,” said he man with the revolver. Everyone obeyed, apart from Bill, who leaned against the wall. “Get in there or I’ll shoot…” snarled the man, pointing the revolver at Bill.
“Shoot all you like,” said Bill, “You can’t harm anyone with a gun without bullets in.” He smiled at the men. “I took mine out too,” he said, nodding. “I always thought what’s the point in buying bullets, I’ve never had to use them,” he said, “You get the same reaction pointing an empty gun at a criminal.” The man stared at Bill and quickly checked the barrell of the gun before dropping it in disgust. Bill put his foot out quickly and pulled it towards himself and picked it up. “But today, I knew I was dealing with some dangerous men,” he said, hand in back pocket. “So I thought I’d better bring some just in case,” he said, slipping the bullets into his revolver.
The men stared in dismay. “You give me that,” said one of the men, getting up and approaching Bill, who still leaned casually against the wall, which the children and his other men stood behind. Bill turned cleverly, and changed places with the men, who were now pressed against the wall. “John!” he called. John appeared at the door of the room. He saw the men pressed against the wall, and produced his revolver, and two pairs of hand cuffs, which he clicked firmly on each man’s hands. He called the others out the room and pushed the two men in, and shut the door behind. The children stared at Bill in admiration. Kiki was now screeching at the top of her voice, scared at all the goings on. Jack shushed her and whispered some comforting words into her ear. Bill turned to the other three men, who were all looking grim now.
The helicopter was still going and hurtled on, into the night. “Nice little plan, you had here.” Bill said, staring at a lever which hung on the wall. “Raymond.” Bill called sharply, “Explain this please,” he said nodding at the lever. Raymond pushed his way to the front and inspected the lever. “Looks like this was meant to trigger a net to fall, though, this is hand made, and wont work as well as our friends here hoped it would. I’ll have to inspect the net to see what kind of thing they were hoping to carry in it.”
“Where will the net be, Raymond, though I think I can guess what the men were hoping the carry?” Bill asked, keeping his revolver pointed at the men to the right of himself.
“The net will be bundled up in an inbuilt box,” said Raymond. “That’s the only way these things work. This lever should have triggered the box to open downwards and the net to fall, though by the look of this mechanism, the lever would have just fallen off the wall! Ah, there the box is!” Everyone followed Raymond over to a wooden box, which he carefully cut open with a sharp pocket knife. He pulled out the net. It was made of rope and looked very strong and the holes were only small. “This net was meant to carry something quite delicate, sir. The small holes mean that the contents will be well protected and this rope is an expensive kind, and doesn’t rub so much as the other kind.” Bill thanked Raymond and walked slowly over to the other three men.
“I will take over now, please,” he said, still pointing the revolver at them.
“Never,” the pilot muttered.
“You will come to no harm, just a few long years in prison,” he said calmly. The pilot scowled, and stood up. The others followed. Fred snapped hand cuffs round each man’s hands and shoved them into the room where the others were. Bill sunk into the driver seat and turned the helicopter round. The children sat down in the passenger seats, and John and Fred stood outside the criminals’ door. The children stared out the window. All was in darkness. Bill carefully landed the helicopter behind the inn. He hopped out. “You fetch the cars, John and Fred and take this lot away! Children, Howard, Raymond, and Sammy, come along with me into the warmth.”