Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
When Rutherford finds Hugh Conway, a former schoolmate, suffering from fatigue and amnesia in a mission hospital, Conway relates the following weird and almost unbelievable story concerning his disappearance many months before. Conway is working at the British consulate in the city of Baskul when trouble breaks out there in May, 1931, and he is considered a hero because of the efficiency and coolness he displays while all the area’s white civilians are being evacuated. When it is his turn to leave, he boards a plane in the company of Miss Roberta Brinklow, a missionary; Henry Barnard, an American; and Captain Charles Mallinson, another member of the consulate. The plane is a special high-altitude cabin aircraft provided by the maharajah of Chandapore. Conway is thirty-seven years old and has been in the consular service for ten years. His work has not been spectacular, and he is expecting to rest in England before being assigned to another undistinguished post.
After the plane has been in the air about two hours, Mallinson notices that the pilot is the wrong man and that they are not headed toward Peshawar, the first scheduled stop. Conway is undisturbed until he realizes they are flying over strange mountain ranges. When the pilot lands and armed tribesmen refuel the plane before it takes off again, Conway begins to agree with Mallinson and Barnard, who think they have been kidnapped and will be held for ransom.
When Conway tries to...
(The entire section is 1213 words.)
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