Biggles and the Leopards of Zinn by W. E. Johns was first published in 1960 by Brockhampton. There have been 2 subsequent editions in the English language. The events in the book take place in Central Africa, mainly in what is today the West Nile sub-region in the North of Uganda.
The once friendly and peaceful tribe of Zinns have become sullen and hostile. Two colonial officers sent out to the area have been killed by what appears to be wild animals. However, the authorities believe this could be the work of leopard men, secret societies of gangsters dressed in skins of wild animals and who terrorize and extract tribute from local tribes using a mixture of superstition and violence. They seem to want something but the Zinns have nothing to offer. Biggles and co. are sent to investigate.
Note: The sections below contain spoilers. In particular, the plot subpage (click here) has an extended summary of the narrative in the book
The Special Air PoliceEdit
- Air Commodore Raymond
- Algy Lacey
- Ginger Hebblethwaite
- Bertie Lissie
- Sergeant Abdullah I'Mobo
- Major Wilson
- Lieutenant Lomax - of the King's African Rifles
- Captain Bourgon - of the Belgian Colonial Service
- Gadfly - the second time this Air Police amphibian is employed
- Lake Jumu - centre of the area named "Zinda" where the Zinns had their village
- Malakal - refueling stop in what is today South Sudan
- Nabula - administrative centre for the region Biggles was operating in
Other Research NotesEdit
References to the pastEdit
- Although Air Commodore Raymond mentions that Biggles has a fair amount of experience in Africa, but he doesn't mention the specifics. In fact, Biggles would have been quite familiar with the area around Zinda, having searched it from the air during his search for the Cetezulu (the "Black Elephant") in Biggles and the Black Raider. Biggles also landed in Latonga in this area. Much of the action against the Black Elephant took place in and around Latonga which had a native village as well as a government rest house. None of the crew recall this previous experience in The Leopards of Zinn.
- In 1946-47, Biggles and Bertie were at Kudinga which is slightly to the north and west, in what is today South Sudan. This fact is not mentioned.