Ron Hogget, Mitchell's sardonic p.i., is happily wallowing in an Abano mud-bath when a young man with a twitch and a gun insists that he find a missing airplane. When next seen, the twitching one is beneath an Italian dock, twitching no more. Hogget returns to London with his girlfriend Sabena and is soon approached by two more men--old-timers Bertie and Tony--who are seeking a WW II Dakota that four of them (Bill, ex-RAF hero; and Frank, another old flying-days buddy made up the quartet) used to own as part of their transport service. Bill, Frank, and the plane disappeared during the Berlin airlift. What happened? Does it relate to the twitching dead man? Sabena's father, Lord Montague, suggests that Air Vice MarshaLl Cattel may be of some help, and his background information leads Hogget to an Outer Hebrides island, a bit of scuba skulduggery, and a submerged plane with millions in gold fillings on board (not to mention several former S.S. men). Then it's off to Oxford and an interview with a retired killer-turned-don, and several run-ins with descendants of the WW II flying foursome. Soon emerging: a ferry-the-Nazis-for-money scheme--plus a hefty bribe accepted by Lord M. Droll view of flying aces, wing commanders, and RAF glory days. Mitchell's puckish humor delights--as his lively thriller hopscotches from ghoulish (a table of corpses in Scotland) to touching to tart (a good riddance to Sabena). Well done.