GIMLET GOES AGAIN
Book First Published in November 1944 - 185 pages
I believe this Gimlet book was never serialised elsewhere. If anybody knows differently then please E-MAIL ME
A short two page introduction sums up the story from 'King of the Commandos' and we then jump (quite literally) straight into the story as Gimlet and Cub parachute back into France. Meeting up with the "Fleas" again and their leader, the Fox, they are shown the body of a dead Frenchman. This man was Jacques Catron and he was a member of the French Underground. He was supposed to meet a contact at the Restaurant des Voyageurs but he was shot and wounded by the Germans before he could do so and later he died. The Fox has found out that the Nazis plan to replace Jacques with a spy. If a spy infiltrates the French Underground, many lives will be lost. Gimlet dresses in the dead man's clothes and goes to the rendezvous in the place of Jacques. Jacques did not know the man he was supposed to meet and the man did not know Jacques. At the restaurant, a German Unteroffizier arrests Gimlet and it turns out that this man is the contact. Cub sees a man with a pale face and it is this man who is the spy posing as Jacques. The "German" is in reality an Englishman known as "Numero Neuf" (number nine) and he was expecting vital information from Jacques. Trapper arrives with the Fox having been fetched from where he was manning boats for the commandos' escape. Numero asks Gimlet and Cub to go to Paris to find out the information that Jacques had been sent with. Numero knows an address where they can go to contact the French Underground. On the train to Paris our two heroes are arrested by the Gestapo but freed by a member of the French Underground. In Paris, Gimlet goes to the address given, but the Gestapo have arrested everybody and laid a trap for anyone that comes along. Gimlet is captured but Cub, who waited nearby, is alerted to the fact that something is wrong when the pale faced man from the Restaurant des Voyageurs arrives. Cub is able to stop a French Underground member going to the same address as he recognised him as the man who helped them on the train by killing the Gestapo agent. This man is called Dominique and together with Cub they organise an escape for Gimlet and others, when a German lorry comes to collect the prisoners. Taken to meet the mysterious Monsieur Rouge, the head of the French Underground, Gimlet learns the vital information. The Renault motor works in Paris are being used to produce aero engines but the Germans are holding about 100 commandos prisoner in the works to stop it being bombed. The French Underground have tunnelled under the works and plan to free the prisoners so the Renault works can be bombed the same night. They have arranged a cycle race out of Paris to Rouen and by this means the prisoners will be given bikes and got out of Paris. Once at a safe house, French Underground members will complete the race so that nothing seems suspicious. Gimlet decides that the escaped commandos will have to take a German airfield so that British transport planes can land and take them all away. Returning to Caen and the "Fleas'" HQ, Gimlet and Cub find not only Trapper but also Copper waiting for them. Also present is Numero. Bomber command has to be contacted to co-ordinate with the raid. The four commandos return to Paris to carry through the plan. At the Paris railway station, the commandos have to fight their way through Germans. The plan goes ahead smoothly with the tunnel being opened and the prisoners being evacuated. Things then go wrong when the tunnel is flooded. The French are forced to blow it up and leave our heroes trapped in the Renault works. Needless to say, they manage to fight their way out. Stealing a German car, Gimlet and Co. catch up with the escaping commandos on their bikes. One final checkpoint has to be got through and then the attack on the German airfield has to take place after supplies are dropped by the Royal Air Force. The German airfield is taken and it is Biggles who is piloting the aircraft that lands first. On pages 181 onwards, Biggles has a page full of rather banal dialogue and Ginger gets a few lines as well. (Again, one must ask whether this makes the book a Biggles book?). The story ends on page 185 with everyone getting home safely and Cub's father wanting to send Cub to an officer-training unit.
Gimlet Goes Again
Subtitle - King of the Commandos in another adventure with Fighting France, and the Grey Fleas of the North.
Publication Details - originally published by University of London Press Ltd.
Cover Illustration on First Edition
Click on the Frontispiece to enlarge it