The Enid Blyton Adventure Series – Plot Synopsis – Book Six: Circus of Adventure
The children are looking forward to going on holiday with Bill and Allison. School is over and the summer stretches ahead. Bill is summoned to his office and instructed by Sir George to guard the future prince of Tauri-Hessia who has had a kidnap attempt made on him. The only clues, a few cigarette butts of Turkish origin. Reluctantly Bill agrees and takes the regal young Gus back to Craggy Tops to meet the family. The children are not impressed with his haughty ways and soon find out who he really is.
Unknown to Bill his car has been fitted with a tracking device by a man working for Madame Tatiosa, the wife of the Prime Minister of Tauri-Hessia and her ally, Count Paritolen. They plan to kidnap the present king and place the puppet prince Gus on the throne.
Oblivious to their machinations, the kids prepare for their holiday in two days time. Jack and Philip decide to sneak out after dark and observe the night creatures, taking Kiki in case she disturbs the sleeping Gus. While they are gone, Jones, pretending to be injured, tricks Bill and Allison out of the house where they are overpowered leaving the way clear for the Madame and her cohorts to kidnap the prince.
Philip, thinking he has heard a distant scream, returns to Craggy Tops. He disturbs the baddies and is captured himself.
Jack returns in time to see what’s happening and stows away in the boot of one of the cars with Kiki. He is taken to a little used airfield where he manages to hide in the cargo hold of the helicopter while the others are being bundled aboard.
Meanwhile Bill and Allison escape from their bonds and Allison learns of the British Governments reluctance to intervene without diplomacy, much to her anger and concern.
On arrival at Tauri-Hessia, Jack and Kiki do not slip away unnoticed and Jones pursues.
Jack eventually succeeds in foiling him and hitches a ride on the back of a Circus wagon. The other kids are thrown in the dungeon of Borkin Castle. They try and cheer Gus up, believing help to be close behind.
Jack makes his way to the Castle and climbs in through a turret window. Avoiding the guards, he spies the Madame waiting impatiently in the main hall. He sees the fireplace swing open. A secret passage. When the coast is clear he finds his way in. He overhears a conversation between the conspirators then makes his way to the dungeons. He finds his friends but cannot remove the heavy padlock. He promises to return with help. He finds his way out of the Castle under a statue in the garden.
Later on, Jack comes upon the travelling Circus owned by Pedro and is given food and shelter. He meets the animals and Frank’s lions.
Back home, Allison pressures Bill to rescue the kids. He agrees and in a meeting with Sir George, is introduced to Roland, a man who knows Tauri-Hessia well, who also smokes Turkish cigarettes.
Jack is woken from his slumbers by the roar of the lions. Frank is ill. Who will replace him? Jack has an idea. If Pedro helps him to free the kids, Philip – with his uncanny ability with animals, might be able to help him with the lions.
They wait until dark before heading back to the Castle.
The King is captured and taken to Borkin Castle, his car passing Jack and Pedro. They realise the need for haste. Entering the statue, they go to the dungeon and free the kids. They escape back to the Circus. They disguise themselves as Circus people to avoid the search by the Castle guards.
The Count and Roland turn up and with Jack go to rescue the King. Gus is pensive. He has seen Roland before. He remembers and warns the others. This man is not a friend. They arrive just as the King is about to be shot. Bill disarms the Count and Roland is unmasked.
The King in his gratitude, throws a banquet. The mystery guest appears. It is Allison. In their borrowed finery, they all receive a garter sash, Kiki included.