In Mission Oriental, the Sultan of Kulang was the ruler of a friendly Sultanate on the northeast coast of Malaya. A young man who had been educated in Britain, the Sultan had proved a staunch ally of Britain and refused to grant sanctuary to Communists terrorists. But he now found his domain surrounded by these terrorists. In addition, he was faced with a threat from within in the person of his uncle Prince Chan, the younger brother of his father, who had designs on the throne and who was in league with the Communists.
Under these circumstances, he sent his personal secretary Mr Ong to London to request assistance from the British government. The Sultan wanted his son Prince Suba evacuated to Britain. There he would be harder to reach by would-be assassins. So long as Prince Suba was alive, Prince Chan had no legal claim to the throne. The evacuation would have to be done by air. Travel by land was dangerous in view of the presence of the Communist terrorists.
The British government agreed to help and Biggles was sent to airlift Prince Suba from Kulang. However, by the time Biggles arrived, the situation had escalated. Prince Chan and his accomplices had started a rumour in the town of Kulang that the Sultan had abdicated in favour of him and this had led to riots. Chan and his accomplices had also cornered the Sultan, the Sultana and Prince Suba in a council chamber where he demanded that the Sultan sign abdication papers on the grounds that he was unable to quell the disorder in his sultanate. Biggles broke into the council chamber during the tensest moment of the standoff. The Sultan's position now greatly strengthened by the presence of Biggles' party, he announced that he had no intention of abdicating and that he still intended to send his son to Britain. Prince Chan, realised his position was now desparate, and egged on by one of his accomplices, drew a knife and leapt at the Sultan. However Biggles moved as fast and shot him. Another of his accomplices was shot by Bertie. The Sultan then summoned his guards to take the rest into custody.
Realising that the riots were started by a rumour that he had abdicated, the Sultan accepted Biggles' advice and showed himself to the crowds and spoke to them, receiving cheers in response. The crisis was averted and Biggles was able to fly the Sultana and Prince Suba out safely.