Great Northern? (Swallows and Amazons, Book 12)
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'I was wrong,' said Captain Flint. 'He's not mad but bad. It isn't only eggs he wants. He wants to take the credit for it. You're quite right. It's up to us, it's up to the ship, to see he doesn't.'
Dick's birdwatching discovery turns the cruise of the Sea Bear into a desperate chase. Not only do the Swallows and Amazons have to prove the facts of the case but they also have to dodge the savage natives and evade the ruthless pursuit of a fanatic egg-collector, determined to kill a pair of rare birds and steal the credit. Fortunately, Nancy has a few plans.
(Originally published in 1947)
loch would be famous …” Again he broke off. “My solicitors … the police … Or I will make you a fair offer. If you let me go at once, you shall….” There was a yell from down by the shore. Dick, Peggy, Susan and Dorothea were scrambling through the heather to join Titty who was crouching over something. John and Nancy were running from the boat. “She’s found the box,” shouted Peggy. “My personal property,” screamed the egg-collector. The McGinty spoke in Gaelic to the dogmudgeon and the
Dick’s gone back already.” “He’ll have heard the foghorn,” said Titty. “Not if he’s looking at birds,” panted Dorothea. “That man’s stopped running,” said Roger. They paused and looked back. The man had indeed stopped running, but he was shouting his Gaelic and someone they could not see was answering him. “He’s shaking his fist at us,” said Roger. “Don’t stop,” said Titty, “he’ll only come after us again.” “And we’ve got to find Dick,” said Dorothea. The three explorers hurried on down
narrows with a head wind or a calm. We might lose two days instead of one. We’ve got to go into port first to get a can or two of juice for Roger and his engine. We used very nearly the last we had getting in here. If we’d gone to the harbour we could have filled up last night.” “How soon shall we be starting in the morning?” asked Roger. “Good and early,” said Captain Flint. “Two or three in the morning, if we can. I’d start now if there was any wind, but there isn’t, and we want the tide with
time! Don’t you see, man? Unique. Absolutely unique. It’ll mean that every bird-book so far written is out of date … Witherby, Coward, Morris, Evans … all the lot of them, confuted by the Jemmerling Collection … I’ll have the eggs, the actual nesting site, copied exactly … the birds themselves, shot in the presence of witnesses. You shall be a witness yourself and have your place in history. Proof. Proof. That is everything. The incredible thing must be proved beyond all manner of doubt….” “But
“That’s the hill with my Pict-house,” Roger was saying. “The Gael’s castle is behind the ridge beyond it,” said Dorothea. “She won’t point up for our inlet,” said John. “Right,” said Captain Flint. “We’re near enough now. We’ll have those sails down.” “But she’ll go slower,” groaned Titty. “Gummock,” said Nancy. “It’s because he doesn’t want to tack.” “Not so much that,” said Captain Flint. “But we’re near enough now to give him a hint of where we’re going. If he comes round the Head now