In The Case of the Modern Pirate, Farrow was an English crewman of the ship Cygnet which sailed from England under Captain John Sebastian Blake. Off the coast of Africa, Captain Blake called his crew together and told them that he intended to "go a-pirating" and promised them all treble pay if they would go along. Farrow and a Scottish engineer Macalister refused to join in. When the Cygnet was finally wrecked on the coast of Papua New Guinea, Blake paid off his crew and dismissed them.

Farrow and Macalister managed to slip away, intending to make their way to Port Moresby on the southern side of the island. By good fortune, Farrow managed to reach the head waters of the Fly River and travel downstream in a stolen native canoe. He was finally found by a government inspection launch in the lower reaches of the river. By then, Macalister, who had traveled with him, had died of fever.

Farrow finally died from some infection he had picked up but not before relating his story to the authorities. He told them, in particular, that he and Macalister had seen Blake bury a load of gold near the wreck of the Cygnet. It was this report which sent Biggles and co. halfway across the world in an attempt to recover the spoils of Blake's pirate adventure.

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