Algy Takes A Hand

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Algy Takes A Hand

Post by SopwithCamel » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:13 pm

The door to the Honorable Algernon Lacey’s flat slammed open with a bang and a gust of wind. Algy, sitting in the armchair just opposite the fire, glanced up with annoyance and caught sight of a flash of ginger hair.

“How many times have I told you—" he began irately, only to break off as his visitor’s entire face came into view. “What happened to you?” he demanded, staring at the bruised and disheveled features of Ginger Hebblethwaite, otherwise known as the protégé he shared with his friend and flying partner Biggles. Algy was used to seeing his young charge injured and untidy, but never before had he seen such a woebegone expression on Ginger’s face.

“Nothing,” said Ginger, his shifting gaze making it obvious that he was lying. “D’you think it would it be all right if I stayed here this weekend instead of at Biggles’?”

Algy got slowly to his feet and walked over to his unexpected visitor. “Not until you tell me what happened. Did you fall down somewhere or something?”

“I fell down, all right,” said Ginger, with grim humor. “Quite a few times, as a matter of fact. That’s the usual result of getting hit in the face.”

“Who hit you in the face?” asked Algy, a not unnatural question under the circumstances.

“It doesn’t matter.”

“I rather think it does. Were you mugged?”

Ginger laughed, bitterly. “I almost wish I was,” he said. “That would make it a lot easier, believe me.”

“Was it someone at the flying school?”

Ginger shrugged his shoulders in a gesture of denial, but his sullen silence told Algy everything he needed to know.

Algy’s lips set in a grim line. “Right,” he declared, reaching for his jacket. “I’m going straight round to Biggles’ flat right this minute, and we’re going to have a word with Pim Carthorne. He’ll make short work of whoever it is. This sort of thing isn’t done.”

Ginger caught Algy’s arm. “Don’t do that,” he implored. “I don’t want you two going down there and making any trouble. It’ll just make things worse.”

“Oh, there’ll be trouble,” said Algy, in a voice that carried conviction. “It just won’t be on our heads, believe you me.”

“Algy, would you please just stay out of it! I’ll manage this on my own, I promise. The only thing I need you to do is make sure Biggles doesn’t find out.”

“I think he might notice that his protégé now has a raccoon for a face,” replied Algy, with biting sarcasm.

“No, he won’t—not if you don’t tell him. I rung him on my way down and told him I’m staying at the school this weekend to study for the written exams, so he’s not expecting me. If you’ll let me stay here, he’ll be none the wiser. At least give me a chance to try and do something about this by myself.”

Algy eyed him dubiously. “I don’t like it,” he said. “My way of doing things would be much quicker and much more efficient. Not to mention, I’m not exactly happy about the prospect of lying to Biggles, even if it is by omission.”

“I’ll have everything taken care of by the time I see Biggles again in two weeks,” promised Ginger.

Algy thought for a minute, and then relented. “All right,” he said, wearily. “You can stay here this weekend, and I won’t say anything just yet, but you’d better have this sorted soon.”
"Too true I did! What a wizard it was! I hooted like a coot in spite of the archie."
--Biggles Flies East

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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by Fairblue » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:50 pm

Ooh, luvverly. What mischief has Ginger been up to?
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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by Kismet » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:20 pm

Fairblue wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:50 pm
Ooh, luvverly. What mischief has Ginger been up to?
And what is he planning?
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by SopwithCamel » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:29 pm

Kismet wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:20 pm
Fairblue wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:50 pm
Ooh, luvverly. What mischief has Ginger been up to?
And what is he planning?
You do notice that the title says "Algy" takes a hand...? :think2: :imao:
"Too true I did! What a wizard it was! I hooted like a coot in spite of the archie."
--Biggles Flies East

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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by Fairblue » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:32 pm

SopwithCamel wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:29 pm
Kismet wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:20 pm
Fairblue wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:50 pm
Ooh, luvverly. What mischief has Ginger been up to?
And what is he planning?
You do notice that the title says "Algy" takes a hand...? :think2: :imao:
Yes. And we’re hoping it won’t be too long before we find out what has happened.
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes

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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by SopwithCamel » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:34 pm

You won't--Algy was quite upset when he barged in to tell me this tale. Words spilled out of him like matches from a dropped matchbox... :imao:
"Too true I did! What a wizard it was! I hooted like a coot in spite of the archie."
--Biggles Flies East

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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by Fairblue » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:05 pm

You mean...after you’ve managed to calm him down, soothed his troubled brow etc, etc?
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes

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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by Kismet » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:18 pm

Did you have to make him a nice cup of tea or was he upset enough to need the restorative brandy?
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by Foolscap » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:02 pm

Poor Ginger:-(
I wonder how long Algy will manage to stay on the sidelines...
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by kylie_koyote » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:23 pm

Marvelous! I will look forward to more with great anticipation.
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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by RAAF Spitfire Girl » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:39 pm

Ooooh! An Algy fic from you, Soppy!! What a luverly New Year's present. Looking forward to seeing how this one unwinds.

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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by SopwithCamel » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:41 pm

Algy Takes A Hand (con.)

The rest of the weekend passed without incident. Ginger stayed in Algy’s flat and studied for his exams, then duly departed Sunday evening to catch the train that would take him back to the flying school in time for Monday morning lessons.

Algy, true to his word, kept the affair quiet, and did not even mention it to Biggles when they met for their usual Sunday meal at Simpson’s, although his secret-keeping made considerably easier by the fact that Biggles was preoccupied with a test pilot job recommendation from someone at the aero club and could talk of little else.

Two days passed without any word from Ginger. Algy was starting to get worried, but was also reluctant to interfere without knowing the full extent of the situation. Add to that the fact that he and Biggles were both busy with the new test pilot job, and he really did not have much time to think about Ginger at all.

He walked into the aero club one evening, tired from a long day of flying, and was surprised and pleased to see a familiar face smiling at him from one of the tables. “Freddie!” he exclaimed, threading his way towards his former flying school friend. “Splendid to see you. What brings you to this neck of the woods?”

“Came up to see my tailor, old boy,” drawled Freddie. “Thought I might run into you here. Draw up a pew, laddie. How have you been?”

“Actually, old son,” said Algy. “It’s quite fortuitous, me seeing you here. Do you still teach flying down at that place where Pim Carthorne is?”

Freddie closed his eyes and shuddered. “If you can call it teaching, yes. You know, I have nightmares sometimes that one morning I’m going to take one of the boys out and they’re going send us right into a hedge, and there I’ll be, singing along with the little angels and their harps for eternity. It’s worse than trench-strafing, this job. But, well, enough about my woes—why do you ask?”

“It just so happens that I’ve got a protégé down there. You might have come across him? His name’s Hebblethwaite.”

“Oh, yes, young Ginger. Tendency to talk too much and can be a bit overly curious, but other than that, I’ve no reservations about him, personally or professionally. Sound lad. Actually, I should have known he was a friend of yours. I hear he can be quite…creative.”

Algy grinned. “I hope that’s a compliment.”

“You can take it how you like, old boy. I don’t think you have anything to worry about with young Ginger, though. Isn’t he doing the pilot’s exams at the end of the month?”

“I’m not worried about his flying,” stated Algy. “But, well, between you and me, I heard there might have been a spot of bullying down at the flying school.”

Freddie nodded knowingly. “You must be speaking of young Fowler. Or, to give him his full name and title, Lord Edward Guthrie Fowler, of some estate or other, can’t be bothered to remember, but he’ll spout the whole thing out for you, given half a chance.”

“That didn’t take much thinking.”

“Didn’t need it, laddie. He’s the prime and only suspect for matters such as these. The boys don’t like to say anything—telling tales and all that—but I’ve heard enough to convince me that this little horror is a bad egg through and through, especially when it comes to those he considers to be beneath him socially. Unfortunately, without an outright accusation, there isn’t much we as instructors can do about it, and personally I think most of the boys would prefer we stayed out of it anyway. You know what they’re like at that age, stubborn as mules.”

“No argument here,” replied Algy, with feeling, remembering Ginger’s vehement protests regarding his own offer to intervene. “But my lad’s got a bright head on his shoulders, and I’m hopeful that he’ll come up with some sort of plan to handle this on his own. Are you going back to the school tomorrow?”

“Tonight, as a matter of fact. Don’t worry, I’ll do what I can to keep an eye out for your lad.”

“Much obliged,” said Algy.
"Too true I did! What a wizard it was! I hooted like a coot in spite of the archie."
--Biggles Flies East

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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by Marinette » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:00 pm

:mex:

Go Ginger! ;-)

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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by Foolscap » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:30 pm

Progressing very nicely:-)
Algy seems to be doing all he can at present, but I am expecting more from Ginger’s unpleasant fellow pupil, alas...
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by Kismet » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:43 pm

Foolscap wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:30 pm
Progressing very nicely:-)
Algy seems to be doing all he can at present, but I am expecting more from Ginger’s unpleasant fellow pupil, alas...
As Foolscap says. I, too, am eager to see what will happen next.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: Algy Takes A Hand

Post by RAAF Spitfire Girl » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:06 pm

I'm keen to see the next instalment, also. I'll be interested to see how Algy keeps Biggles from finding out that Ginger might be having a bit of trouble :-)

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