- First published:
- August 1945 issue of Harper’s Magazine
- The character called “The Stag” also appears in the story “They Shall Not Grow Old”
- Related books:
- Magazine publications:
This is one of Dahl’s “flying” stories and deals with three R.A.F. pilots on leave in Cairo, Egypt. It does have a slightly adult theme (Madame Rosette runs a seedy brothel) and younger readers might want to skip this one for now.
Spoiler warning! Two R.A.F. pilots, Stuffy and the Stag, are from the same squadron and have been granted leave in Cairo. They check into a hotel together to bathe and relax. Later they go out shopping and Stuffy is attracted to the beautiful Egyptian girl who sells him sunglasses. The Stag tells him that he’s heard of a woman named Madame Rosette who can arrange a rendezvous with any girl in town. Stuffy calls her up, but later he has a change of heart and convinces the Stag to call it off. The two of them meet up with William, who is from another squadron, and together they all drink beers in an Egyptian bar. On the way home they formulate a crazy plan: they want to rescue all the girls from Madame Rosette. They travel to her brothel and manage to lock her up in her office. Then they escort the fourteen girls there to a nearby bar and buy them drinks. The girls are delighted and write down their phone numbers for the rest of the squadron. At the end of the night, the three pilots escort the girls home.