The Enid Blyton Adventure Series – Plot Synopsis – Book Eight: River of Adventure
The family are going on a river boating holiday in Turkey. Bill gets a phone call from Sir George. They have to meet. The family suspect their holiday will be cancelled. Sir George asks Bill to gather information on a small time blundering criminal called Uma, while he is on holiday. Bill is amused. There is however the vaguest link between Uma and a stolen quantity of deadly chemical Zero One. Bill agrees to help.
Uma has in fact procured the Zero One together with the henchman Taj. He contacts a big time villain, Rabos. They arrange to meet, coincidentally at the same hotel the family have chosen. The kids, Allison and Bill arrive at the hotel in Turkey. They meet a boy called Oola, the badly treated assistant of a snake charmer. Oola’s pet spider escapes from it’s pouch. Bill swiftly reacts and catches it. Rabos, who has arrived at the hotel, witnesses the scene. He suspects Bill is an agent. He phones Uma. Who is this man?
Later that evening the kids see Oola being harangued by the snake charmer and go to his aid. Oola is grateful. The next day sees the family on their river boat enjoying the unfamiliar scenery. Bill is contacted by Sir George. Get to our local office. He thinks Rabos is involved in the theft of Zero One.
When the family stop to let Bill off at the next landing stage, the kids decide to have a look at the cafe there. They meet Taj who asks a lot of questions, but with their innate good sense, the kids reveal nothing. Taj notices Jack’s PC. That night as they sleep, someone creeps on board, startling everyone.
It is Oola. He has run away from the snake charmer and is heading home to his village.
The kids invite him to stay and Allison agrees. Oola gives Philip his spider. It is not a White Back. Oola shows the kids that is just a touch of white powder – the spider is harmless. Philip accepts.
Bill returns. The holiday will have to end. The kids persuade Bill to stay over another day so they can explore the sights along the river, the Temple of Dreams and the Temple of Death. A guide appears from nowhere, he will show them the sights. The kids set off with him leaving Oola behind with Allison and Bill.
The site is ruined. It’s a disappointment. The guide suddenly abandons them. Dinah is scared by a genuine White Back and Jack finds his PC missing. Dinah’s screams alert Bill who finds them and leads them back to the boat. They set sail again and meet Uma whose boat engine has broken down. Bill recognising him, agrees to repair it, hoping to find out more information.
When Uma asks Bill and Allison to join him for a drink at his holiday camper van, they agree and leave the children playing Scrabble together. Uma drugs Bill and a couple of thugs overcome Allison and tie her up. When the kids leave the boat to find out what has happened to Bill and Allison, Uma commandeers their boat and together with Taj and the thugs, takes Bill and Allison with them. The kids are abandoned.
They decide to take Uma’s decrepit boat and follow.
Next day after an uncomfortable night, Lucy-Ann finds a map with a cross on it and a plan of the Temple of Death. Oola will not go with them. He is frightened of the place and sets off home. The kids continue but the engine blows up and the boat sinks. They carry on foot and follow Kiki into a cave. After a short while they realise they are in the Temple of Death.
In the meantime, Uma has contacted Rabos and arranged to meet him to assess the ‘goods’!
The children find the inner tomb of the Temple and discover the Zero One. They do not know it is deadly. When Uma arrives, he is flabbergasted to find the Zero One missing and sends his men after the children. Rabos leaves in a flurry, despite Uma’s protestations that he will find the Zero One. The children are caught. Philip shows Uma where he’s hidden the Zero One. When Uma reaches for it he discovers Philip’s spider. Believing it to be a White Back and believing himself to be bitten Uma is convinced he is going to die.
He flees to his jeep. It won’t start. He urges his men to carry him to the nearest hospital. The kids retrieve the Zero One and set off to free Allison and Bill. Oola reappears with the rotor arm of the jeep and hands it over. They all jump into the vehicle and head off after Uma. They find him alone, snivelling and pleading to be taken to hospital. They give him a lift but drive him to a police station instead. Bill tells the police where they can find Rabos and the villains are arrested.
Back at Craggy Tops a letter awaits Allison. Her application to adopt Jack and Lucy-Ann has been successful. The children are jubilant.