Book First Published on 23rd October 1950* - 192 pages

* This information is taken from a letter from A. P. Watt & Son to W. E. Johns in my collection

I believe this Gimlet book was never serialised elsewhere.  If anybody knows differently then please E-MAIL ME


The first edition dust jacket showing the original price of 6 shillings


Meeting up at the Ritz again, Gimlet tells Cub, Copper and Trapper that he has been asked by a Government department to rescue a man from a medieval fortress in Eastern Europe. The man is Muraz Ismit, known as Ismit Pasha, of Turkish nationality, until recently a member of the Turkish Government. A keen yachtsman, Pasha has been shipwrecked on the Caucasian coast. Intelligence reports have revealed that he is now a prisoner in the ancient fortress of Kalashan. Gimlet says he will be using Bigglesworth again to fly them out in a flying boat and Biggles duly does so, appearing on pages 21 to 23 (yet another 'Biggles' book?). Gimlet and his three men use their dinghy to paddle ashore and are soon marching inland through strangely deserted countryside. They see a man executed in front of his family by Russian Cossacks. Eventually they find the huge fortress, built of solid rock, with walls 50 or 60 feet thick. The fortress is out on a high pillar with a small rock path, like a causeway, the only access to the entrance and this is guarded. It is clearly a daunting prospect as to how they are going to get in. Hiding up in the trees, to observe the fortress, Cub realises they are by a gallows as he can see a corpse hanging there. Shortly afterwards, a man is brought out from the fortress to be hanged. Suddenly there is a rescue attempt by wild looking men. The Cossacks from the fort fight back and soon our heroes find themselves in the path of the battle and are forced to retreat with the bandit rescuers. Fighting back against the Cossacks soon makes our heroes popular and they get to meet the man who was to be hanged to find that not only does he speak English but that he claims to be British! This meeting is depicted on the cover of the book. The man is Alexander Gregorovitch McAlister who is soon nicknamed MacGreggo. He leads a band of rebels fighting against the governor of the fort, a man called Vladimir Karzoff, a Russian general. Gimlet decides to take MacGreggo into his confidence and MacGreggo offers his help and support. A plan is drawn up to get inside the fort. Firstly one of MacGreggo's men has to substitute himself into a work party to make contact with a guard called Yakoff. The guard will then be paid to pull up a rope after our heroes have scaled the rock the fortress stands on. This climb is easier said than done, particularly at night, but Cub is the first person to climb a rope and get into the fortress. Here, he is immediately captured but he manages to shout a warning to the others that it is a trap. Cub is taken before Karzoff and expects to be executed. However, he is astonished to be released and not only that, he is released with Ismit Pasha! This is done for a very large bribe. Meanwhile, Gimlet, has made arrangements to attack and try to rescue Cub. Gimlet has heard that some armoured cars were due to come and take Ismit Pasha away the following morning and he arranges an attack on the cars. Reinforcements from the fortress, lead by Karzoff, leave the fortress open to attack and Copper leads such an attack on it. All prisoners are released and the wooden buildings inside the fort set alight. Cub is able to meet up with firstly Copper and then Gimlet and get him to call off the attack on the armoured cars as Ismit Pasha is already safe. Karzoff is believed to be killed when an armoured car he is in goes over the cliff path edge. Gimlet asks MacGreggo if he wishes to return to his homeland of Scotland and he agrees to go.  His band of rebels will have to retreat to the hills to avoid Russian retaliation in any event. Our four heroes, together with Pasha and MacGreggo return to the coast and the hidden dinghy. They then have to avoid the searching troops in order to rendezvous with Biggles, who returns at a pre-set time in order to collect them. Both Biggles and Ginger appear in the final couple of pages of the book.


Click here to see the story illustrations from this book


Gimlet Bores In

Subtitle - A King of the Commandos Adventure.

Publication Details - originally published by Brockhampton Press Ltd.



Click on the Frontispiece to enlarge it


Click on the Paperback above to find out all about the GIMLET Armada paperbacks and see the many DIFFERENT illustrations in them