Adventure’s End – Robert Leslie Bellem (1935)

sascoverAnthologies, like Greatest Hits compilations, are not known for saving the best until last.  That is why this blog was created — to force me to finish anthologies (both book and video).  There is reason to be hopeful, though.  The story is by Robert Leslie Bellem, who has been reliable in the past.  And maybe it was given the final slot based on the title rather than quality.  We can only hope.

Like a hurtling comet, the Linchow Limited sped through the impenetrable darkness of the Asiatic night.

There is a knock on the door of Tate Shevlin’s train compartment.  He drops his hand to his pistol and says, “Come in.”  It is a tall, broad-shouldered, slant-eyed Manchurian carrying a mask of yellow silk.  Shevlin recognizes the mask as belonging to The Golden Girl.

That’s kind of a microcosm of this anthology:  Evil non-white other versus a Golden Girl.

The Manchurian says he represents Chen Tsing Gat as did the Golden Girl.  Chen plans to overthrow the corrupt government of Linchow Province.  When the Manchurian asks to see the Claws of the Dragon — stolen jewels recovered by Shevlin — he reveals himself to be an impostor, so Shevlin kills him.  He did have the genuine mask, though, so Shevlin searches for Chen’s real agent.

Seeing blood seeping out under the door of another berth, he busts in.  He finds a beautiful Chinese girl has been stabbed.  He grasped at the knife, wrenching it out of the girl’s quivering body.  Then he ripped away the coat of her pajamas disclosing the naked beauty of her swelling, virginal breasts.  With a handkerchief he stanched the sudden gush of blood that flowed from the gasping wound in her ivory side.  His hand went to her left breast pressed against the mollescent ivory flesh  The girl’s heart fluttered faintly.  Note to aspiring EMTs:  The best place to test a girl’s pulse is not the wrist or carotid artery.  Simply rip her top off and start feeling her boobs.[1]

She knows her hours are numbered, and not in the double-digits.  Before she dies, she wants to take Shevlin to Chen and the Golden Girl.  At the next top, Shevlin carries her off the train.  He held her close to him, gently, protectively.  Her firm ivory breasts were bare and warm against his chest.  Note #2 to aspiring EMTs: . . . and really give them a chance to air out.

Before she “goes to meet her ancestors”, she tells Shevlin he can find Chen and the Golden Girl in the ancient royal tombs about two miles away.  He laid her body by the side of the road.  The shadows of the night were to be her shroud, the soft earth her death-couch.  Dude, bury her — you’re going to the tombs anyway!

At the tomb, he finds his beloved Golden Girl.  Chen saved her father’s life but he died before he could repay the debt.  Golden Girl has promised a year of service to Chen to honor the debt.  After that, she will return to America with Shevlin.  She takes Shevlin down into the tombs to meet Chen.  He says it is time for the revolution to begin against the corrupt Wu Shang Clan.  Soldiers bust in on them and Shevlin goes full-Jack Bauer. He blasts away with his pistol, then brains them with the butt, pounds them with his fists and hurls a sword through one’s chest.

The Golden Girl screamed as clutching yellow hands tore at the silk of her robe, ripped it from her perfect body.  It takes a platoon of men, but Shevlin is finally taken down.  Lucky for him, Wu Shang wants all three of them alive, and only 1/3 of them naked.

Shevlin, Chen and the naked Golden Girl are held by Chen.  He wants the Claws of the Dragon from Chen and will torture all three to get them.  As a demonstration, he brings in two rebels who opposed him — a huge Asiatic man and, of course, a naked woman. They are tortured by a topless woman.  And she is good at her job — with a whip, she is able to lash the dude’s eyeball right out of his head.  She the hoists him up, then lowers him slowly into a vat of molten lead.

Wu Shang takes the naked Chinese woman into the backroom for his pleasure before being tortured.  An efficient five minutes later, Studly brings out her dead body.  For the forth story in this collection, a woman has been shot or stabbed through the left breast. He tosses her into the molten lead.  Chen agrees to delivered the jewels if Shevlin and Golden Girl are released.

Chen comes through and hands over the jewels.  The torturess — still topless — visits Shevlin and Golden Girl to warn them that Wu Shang is planning to kill them anyway. She tells Golden Girl, “Your white breasts will not be so beautiful when they have tasted the fire of my branding irons.  And when your beauty has been utterly destroyed, your American sweetheart will turn to me.”  Shevlin is able to break free and shove her against the vat of lead which she tips over, killing her in a fiery Niagara of death.  When Wu Shang comes to investigate, Shevlin kills him too.

There is another chapter where Shevlin kills a few more henchmen after pretending to be Wu Shang.  Despite the soldiers peeking, he passes for Wu Shang raping Golden Girl.  Apparently he screws just like a Chinaman.

Yada, yada happy ending.

Thus endeth maybe the 2nd anthology I’ve ever read all the way through.  The system works.

Post-Post:

  • [1]  Research is inconclusive on using this technique with fat guys or girls under 18, so best not to risk injury or jail.
  • Title Analysis:  Nice.  Now that Shevlin has rescued Golden Girl and they have found happiness, his adventures are at an end.  Just like Indiana Jones IV. Except this story wasn’t so lousy that it needs a sequel to apologize for it.
  • Golden Girl is never given a name.
  • First published in April 1935.
  • I finally figured out Robert Leslie Bellem also wrote under the name Ellery Watson Calder, so he is responsible for 20% of the stories in this collection.

Tales of Tomorrow – The Golden Ingot (05/09/52)

ttgoldingot04Professor Vanya, believing he will succeed tonight where that dolt Isaac Newton [1] failed, is attempting to turn lead into gold.  He tells his daughter Margaret, “In a few moments, I will take out of this oven the dream of every alchemist since the days of the great Flaubert in 1382.”  That was 500 years before Gustave Flaubert, so I have no idea who he is talking about.  Unless Flaubert also invented time travel.

His daughter is skeptical of his ravings, but he claims they will be richer than Croesus who invented the pants-pressing machine, and richer than Midas who founded a chain of muffler repair shops.  For the time being, though, he is a little short; also doesn’t have much cash.

He gets a visit from his downstairs neighbor Hodges asking for the 2,000 francs Vanya owes him.  He threatens to take Vanya to court if he doesn’t have his francs by Monday.

ttgoldingot25When the timer goes off, he asks Margaret to open the kiln door.  She pulls out a tray, but it is mere slag — 15 years wasted.  He is so distraught, he drinks from a bottle of poison.  Margaret runs down the hall to get her fiancee Charles — a real scientist.  It must have been that 24-hour poison, because he is quickly back up and pseudo-sciencing the shit out of that stuff.

Margaret is afraid the constant failures will destroy her father Vanya.  The next time he has a batch in the kiln, she secretly replaces the slag with a gold ingot she has purchased — for about $5,000,000 given the size of it.  When she and Vanya look at the next day’s results, he is ecstatic to find a block of gold.  That night, Margaret secretly sneaks in and puts the same gold ingot back into the kiln so Vanya will think he has succeeded in making a second bar.  Margaret is able to continue the ruse until Vanya tells her to sell a ingot to pay Hodges back.  Charles gives her the cash to pay back Hodges.

That night, Margaret leaves another gold ingot in the kiln for her father to find.  Unfortunately, that night, Hodges breaks in and steals the only real gold ingot.

ttgoldingot24The next morning, Hodges shows up and asks for his francs.  Margaret was going to take the gold to the “gold market” that morning to pay him back.  He sees the gold ingot is gone, so concludes she must have taken it.  At this point, he believes he has made at least seven ingots, so couldn’t she have taken one of the others?

Margaret and Charles fess up.  This drives Vanya into a rage and he has a heart attack.  After he croaks, Margaret and Charles find that his last batch actually did create a gold ingot.

Post-Post:

  • [1] Really, what the hell was he thinking?
  • A rarity — I have never seen a single one of these actors in another show according to my big bag o’ SQL.
  • Gene Lockhart (Vanya) was the father of June Lockhart (Lost in Space).

The Devil’s Daughter – Clark Nelson (1939)

sascoverBuck Mason was going to kill a man if he himself wasn’t killed first by the fever.

He is in Columbia to kill Don Fernando for murdering his gal-pal Diane before she had a chance to show us her boobs.[1]  She had pledged herself to Fernando as payment for her father’s debts.

“Mason envisioned the joy of choking the life from this monster, Don Fernando, whom he had never seen; or of burying a knife slowly in his belly.”  I guess these are just idle fantasies as Mason brought a Luger to do the actual deed.

His guide Carnicio quietly directs his attention to a nearly nude woman tied to a tree and covered with a viscous goo.  The good news, in addition to the swell nudity, is that she is still alive.  As she struggles and pleads with her captors, Mason’s eyes adjust to the dark and he sees that what he thinks is a viscous goo, is really a swarm of ants working their way up her lithe body.

Mason charges into the circle of Indians “swinging his gun butt mercilessly upon astonished Indians.”  Carnicio swings the woman’s butt mercifully out of the tree. “Mason tried to clear her infested flesh of the horde of ants enveloping her.  Crushing them and sweeping off her soft and tender skin, he took water from Carnicio and washed and bathed her until her tan, supple body shone smoothly.”  This is how the advertising scam rinse, repeat was conceived.  Although it sound more like Don Draper than Don Fernando.

The woman tells them that Don “The Wicked One” Fernando did this to her, further infuriating Mason.  He offers to take her to casa de Fernando to watch him be anything-but-shot, but she declines and just asks that he tell Alvarado that she is alive.

He continues through the jungle toward Fernando as the fever worsens.  He is fatigued, suffers from Vertigo, and hears a pounding in his head.  He again daydreams of strangling Fernando.  Maybe it’s the fever — use the gun, idiot!  Use the gun!

Mason comes to a building in a clearing and sees an Indian being tortured.  He flips out and puts a bullet through the spine of the torturer.  He then screams, “Don Fernando, Don Fernando!  Come out, murderer!  Come out and fight!  Come out so I can avenge Diane!

A beautiful woman comes out and calmly tells him Don Fernando died a few weeks earlier.  “With his last remaining strength, he protested that it couldn’t be so.  Oh no, he was going to bash Don Fernando’s brains in.”  The gun, stupid — you were going to shoot him!  Being robbed of his vengeance and being racked with fever, Mason collapses onto the ground.

He awakens 10 days later to find himself in worse trouble.  Don Fernando is dead, but his mistress Rosita has assumed his position.  And it was she that killed Diane out of jealousy when Fernando brought her to Columbia.  Then she killed Fernando and took over his plantation.

Mala, the girl they saved from the ants sneaks into the house.  She tells Mason she was tortured and Carnicio was killed because Rosita thinks they have information on the Lost Inca Mines.  As proof of Rosita’s evilness, Mala gives him a little head — Carnicio’s; then Mala gives him a little head — Diane’s. [2]

Oddly, Mason’s name becomes Carson for one sentence:  “Carson reached the gruesome trophy, took it in his hands.  He was kissing the shriveled monstrosity with slobbering lips.” [3]

He quickly reverts to Mason when Rosita bursts in with a machete.  There is much fighting and tearing of clothes as “the two almost naked women tumbled and contorted on the floor at his feet.”  Rosita is just about to stab Mala when Mason grabs a spear — use the gun, stupid!  He is, however, able to put the spear through Rosita, killing her and saving Mala.

After several rereadings, the logistics of the ending still baffle me.

  1. Mala puts Mason in a canoe, and only then does he realize he is still holding Diane’s shrunken head in his hand.
  2. Some messengers catch up to him with a package from Mala.  He opens the package and screams like a madman, “I knew I’d never get away from her!”
  3. A month later, Mason is found passed out with three sacks of gold.  In one hand is a shrunken head with blonde hair.  In the other is a shrunken head with dark hair.  WTF?
  4. So what was in the package Mala sent him?  A map to the formerly-Lost Inca Mine I guess.  And Rosita’s head?  Was Mala into head-shrinking also?  Why would she send it to Mason?  And why would he keep it?  And why would he be carrying both heads around clasped in his hands?

I like the idea of the freed protagonist, but this was one of the lesser stories.  I have high hopes for the final story.  Anthologies are not known for saving the best until last, but this one is written by Robert Leslie Bellem.

Post-Post:

  • [1] For those unfamiliar with Spicy Adventure’s ouvre, you can count on every female character showing off her luscious, ample breasts.
  • [2] I couldn’t resist using it twice.
  • [3] In 75 years, no one has fixed this?  If it was left untouched for historical purposes, at least throw a (sic) after it.
  • Title Analysis:  Complete gibberish.  There are no daughters or parents in the story.
  • First published in December 1939.

The Veil – The Doctors (1958)

vdoctors01In a small Italian shack in a small Italian village, a mamasan or mamacita[1] or whatever the hell they have in Italy is praying hysterically. The bambina Francesca is sick. The womenfolk call for the menfolk to go get the doctor while they weep and pray hysterically.

Dr. Carlo Marcabienti (Boris Karloff) [2] is being visited by his son Angelo Marcabienti (nobody).  Angelo is also a doctor, but a city slicker who regards his father’s patients as peasants, whereas his kindly father regards the peasants as patients.  His father’s maid Maria suggests young Angelo could take his father’s place in the village.  Having been off the farm, he is far happier in the city working at a slick hospital with cool sterile equipment and hot sterile nurses.

Carlo’s driver Giuseppe takes him on a shack-call to a local hypochondriac. While he is away, Angelo tries to convince Maria to tell Carlo he should retire and go to live with in the city with him.  They are interrupted by Tony Bianchi who wishes the doctor to check on his sister Francesca.  Since Carlo is out, Angelo offers to go see her. When Carlo gets back from his call, he sends Giuseppe to give Angelo a ride back since there are gale-force winds outside.

vdoctors14The simple Bianchi family are wary of this whippersnapper looking at Francesca.  They seem to have a hard time accepting that the young man is a doctor.  He examines the child and determines that she requires immediate surgery despite having no insurance. Her father refuses to allow the procedure, still insisting that she needs the real doctor.

When Giuseppe arrives, Angelo sends him right back to get his father.  Carlo arrives and Angelo tells him his diagnosis is diphtheria.  Angelo complains, “What’s wrong with these peasants?  A child choking to death for lack of a simple tracheotomy and they wouldn’t let me touch her!”  Carlo never says a word.  He draws the curtain and he and Angelo get to work.

After the operation, the family rushes in to see Francesca and Carlo returns home. Back at casa de Marcabienti, Angelo thanks his father for showing up when he did.  But Carlo says he has been snoozing all this time.

He wasn’t the only one.

vdoctors24Post-Post:

  • [1] Hours of research reveal that mamasan actually refers to an Asian pimp, and mamacita does not refer to a mother, but to a hot tamale.  The phrase I couldn’t remember, mamma mia, is the only correct usage of the bunch.  But I didn’t see the movie.
  • [2] I’ve gained a new respect for Karloff’s acting ability after only four episodes of this series. He has played a variety of characters and not lazily fallen back on his creepy reputation. However, he made zero effort at an Italian accent here. I can only assume that is why they loaded him up with the most Italian moniker since Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Leaf of the Lotus – Guy Russell (1937)

sascoverLieutenant Pat Gardner drives to the Hawaiian home of Ah Lee Cheng-kai.  A beautiful Chinese woman serves them tea.  Seeing that Gardner likes her, Ah Lee introduces her as Puen T’ang  — oh come on!  Who wrote this, Ian Fleming?

Another white girl as disappeared, the daughter of a officer at Pearl Harbor.  Cheng comments, “White flesh has an irresistible attraction for the mongrel spawn of these brown people.  The misbegotten liliha dogs.

Gardner is investigating the disappearance of several girls.  None ever turn up, even dead.  They just seem to vanish.  Poon Tang pours Gardner another drink but accidentally spills some on him.  Cheng instructs his huge servant — also Flemingly-named Wun Kow — to take her to the quarters below for punishment.  Gardner says this is not necessary, but adds, “I don’t even want to know what you’re going to do to her.”  Add this to the fact that many of Cheng’s wives have disappeared, and we may deduce Gardner is no Charlie Chan; or Erle Stanley.

After a 2-hour meal, Cheng takes Gardner below to watch One Cow mete out the punishment to Poon Tang.  Gardner is stunned to see her hands cuffed above her head, held by a rope and pulley from the ceiling.  She is draped in some sort of “sack-like garment“, that is it is kind of “shapeless“, I mean sort of a “tubular shroud” with some sort of “drawstring” and . . . oh hell, in 5 seconds, she’s naked anyhow.

Her upstretched arms threw every line of her perfect body into bold relief against warm, velvety skin.  From glowing honey-colored breasts down the smooth swell of her stomach, to rounded curving hips, her perfect little body raised the already dangerous temperature of Gardner’s blood to another degree.

One Cow whips her with a 3-foot braided whip.  Gardener tries to stop him, but Cheng assures him that the beating is light.  Her anguish is really at “the lack of a young strong man to assuage her.”  i.e. she just needs a man.  Cheng leaves Gardner alone with Poon Tang, but he is a gentleman and just releases her.

A week later as Gardner is preparing for a swell night of playing Bridge, he learns that his date has disappeared.  He races to Cheng’s house and shoves a .45 in his gut. Cheng knows where the girl is but says he won’t tell Gardner for his own good.  As he is leaving Poon Tang sees him, and tells him Cheng is responsible for all the disappearances.

Poon Tang directs him back to the underground lair. He sees Cheng and One Cow standing beside a “girl’s slender, naked body hanging head-downward from a great hook”.  Gardner shoots Cheng, then sees his erstwhile Bridge partner “alive, clothing stripped from her long smooth thighs and swelling, upthrust breasts”.

One Cow then attacks.  Gardner is able to fight him off, but gets an assist from Poon Tang who stabs him between the shoulder blades, then flees.  Gardner gallantly offers the unclothed girl a raincoat.  Well, after untying her straps . . . explaining to her why Poon Tang wasn’t killed . . . marching her buck-naked up the stairs . . . then totally nude down the driveway . . . and 100% bare-assed down the road . . . to the car where he left his raincoat.

I also imagine a lot of fumbling with keys, and maybe her shivering in a light freezing rain, but that’s really reading between the lines.

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