SKY FEVER AND OTHER STORIES

First Published in June 1953 - 174 pages

 Republished in paperback by Norman Wright in 2006 – as “Short Sorties & Sky Fever” - 269 pages (Sky Fever starts on page 147)

 

This book contains 18 short stories written by W. E. Johns

 

REUNION

Squadron Leader Bertie Parkinson tells Squadron Leader Luke the story of how Tony Harcourt fell in love with a nun who committed suicide.

Now, Harcourt's only wish is to be reunited with her.

This was first published in “Britannia and Eve” magazine in November 1941 – find out more here

 

A MATTER OF PREFERMENT

Hurricane pilots, Hammond, Prince Shemonenski and Jepperson are all rivals for the affection of Virginia Dell, the daughter of the local Squire at Beechborne.

When an attractive blonde called Gloria arrives on the scene, she causes a distraction that allows Jepperson to lead the field.

As usual, things are not what they seem, and we soon discover that Jepperson has a secret weapon.

This was first published in “Britannia and Eve” magazine in January 1942 – find out more here

 

DOUBLE-CROSS

Derek Barrington finds a number of adult evacuees from London at his Uncle Henry's large country house. Apparently they are friends of friends but in reality they are a group of spongers and cowards. Derek has a plan to make them leave involving a nearby RAF Squadron. The butler in this story has the name Judkins, a name Johns often used for butlers.

This was first published in “Britannia and Eve” magazine in August 1941 – find out more here

 

SKY FEVER

American pilot Jefferson Gaunt is starting to lose his nerve. When he spends his leave with his Aunt Agatha and the locals in the New Forest he finds that he is not

the only one who has to be brave. He soon finds the inspiration to enable him to return to his duties.

 

THE CONVERSION OF JOHNNY

Johnny is a professional criminal who specialises in burglary. When he meets Sally, a member of the domestic staff of a large house, Johnny has in mind an easy burglary.

The house belongs to Squadron Leader Clinton who is away serving in the R.A.F. and things do not go as Johnny plans.

 

THE VOICE OF YESTERDAY

This is the story of two lovers set over a period of 3000 years. Starting in Troy in 1184 B.C., two lovers swear never to be parted.

They are destined to meet again in Alexandria in 30 B.C. and once more in Athens in 1941. However, across the years, the sign of the swastika is a sign that is to impact on their fate.

 

THE WAY OF AN EAGLE

Why is American ace "Fish" Fitzroy, so named? Does he really have blue blood in his veins or is it all in his imagination?

Will he ever be able to explain to the lovely Griselda why he has called off their engagement?

 

CURLY AND THE DUCHESS

Curly is really a Lord but doesn't want to use his title in wooing a waitress nicknamed 'the Duchess'. The Duchess really is a duchess but would

rather put the happiness of her father before her own. This is a tale of what can happen when people keep secrets from each other.

 

ORIENTAL INTERLUDE

In Northern Iraq, Dennis Brayling falls out of an aircraft and is saved by his parachute. He lands in an ancient and inaccessible valley.

Here he finds the Princess Dilara bin Lulu in her garden and when discovered he faces execution. Saved, Dennis gets the chance to marry the Princess instead.

When the opportunity comes to leave the valley, Dennis returns to his Squadron with an unusual story to tell as well as unusual things with him.

 

THE TOURIST

A British tourist, called Henry Smith, on holiday in Germany is mistaken for a spy.

 

HONEYMOON DEFERRED

Gillson Durwood is forced to bail out after an aerial collision during the Second World War. He is pleased to find himself at Monte Carlo, as being very rich, he had a home there before the war. After making his way to the house, he is surprised to find a woman living there who claims to be his wife. His next problem is working out how to escape to Spain and whether he will be taking anyone with him.

 

COALS TO NEWCASTLE

Flight Lieutenant Gerry Corder falls in love with his nurse. When he leaves hospital he has fresh roses sent to her every week until he can return to see her. When he eventually is able to get leave to go to see her he finds that he has been wasting his money.

 

WITHOUT THE TRIMMINGS

After the SS Avonia is torpedoed, Bill Kerslake, the second officer, finds himself alone in a lifeboat for three days with a famous actress, Rene Dakeyne. They have plenty of time to get to know each other and exchange secrets.

 

SOUVENIR

Captain Vashley and his team of paratroopers are lost in the desert that borders Iran and Iraq. However a member of his company, Private Smith, has a local knowledge that proves to be as surprising as it is helpful. The only problem is that Private Smith has never been here before. Does the answer lie in the strange and ancient souvenir that Smith has found?

 

THE RING

A strange and mysterious shopkeeper tells the unique story of an ancient ring that he has for sale. At the end of the tale, the potential purchaser has the option of buying the ring or not.

 

A MATTER OF CHANCE

After Linton has lost all the money he has at roulette in Monte Carlo, he is open to an offer of £100 to go and fetch a bag from London for a mysterious Count. This is something that is going to lead him into more trouble than it is worth.

This was actually written by W. E. Johns in early 1950 as a potential entry for a writing competition in John Bull magazine.  However, after it was submitted to his agent, W. E. Johns agreed that perhaps it wasn’t really suitable for entry to that competition and it was collected into this book instead.

 

EVELYN'S FANCY

When a housemaid finds out the real reason for a Doctor's request for her hair she takes drastic action.

 

THE RECKONING

Amelia Shore has died from a drug overdose. Was it suicide or murder? And what part did her sister, Felicity, play in the events surrounding the death.

This was written by W. E. Johns in May 1950 as his entry for a writing competition in John Bull magazine, which his agent did submit.

 

 

Sky Fever

Subtitle - and other stories (NB - these words also appear on the spine of the book below the dust jacket)

Publication Details - originally published by Latimer House

 

First Edition

 

Spine of book

 

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