Bride of the Ape – Harold Ward

pulpmegabride0125 stories for $.99 — they must be great!

I love these covers.  Not just for the lurid, scantily-clad damsel-in-distress poses, but also for the more subtle points — the jarring noun-noun-adjective string of words at the top; the misspelled word; the doctor’s hand holding the syringe which is almost an optical illusion; the way the illustration doesn’t quite fit the story.

On an “abysmally dark” night, Bob and Betty are being stalked through the woods by an unseen, growling entity.  For a change in these stories, their car did not get stuck in mud, but is immobilized by a “broken spring.”  They have wandered for miles seeking help.

The sound of their pursuer “acted as a tonic to our jaded nerves, quickening our muscles, putting us on the qui vive.”  The Kindle dictionary defines qui vive as:

n. on the alert or lookout; duty requires the earnest liberal to spend most of his time on the qui vive for fascism.

Presumably so he can hold a fundraiser. BTW, a lot of dictionaries seem to use that example, but no one gives an attribution.

Soon they see a house surrounded by a fence, 20 feet in height, with tightly meshed wire fastened to high posts.  It reminds Bob of a prison; or a driving range.

Admiring the fence, Bob trips and falls onto a the body of a naked woman.  Bob takes no indecent liberties because she is dead and “a weird misshapen creature, her form twisted and warped.”  Also because Betty is watching.

Finally we get to a story with an ape, though, sans zeppelin.

Finally we get to a story with an ape, though, sans zeppelin.

Breaking the awkwardness, or perhaps adding to it, a gorilla bursts out of the jungle.  It grabs Betty and begins tearing at her clothes.  Bob gamely jumps in repeatedly to save his gal.  He does manage to incapacitate the gorilla long enough for them to make it to the porch of the house.  Note to owner — the prison fencing is not working.

The door is answered by Professor Bixby, “a poor scholar come to this place to work out certain theories”  IOW, a mad scientist.  Bixby seems to be skeptical of their tale until the gorilla presses his face against the window.  He summons his man-servant Jarbo, who is described a “a huge black,” and orders him to kill the beast.

Before heading out, Jarbo beings in a tray of wine and sandwiches.  The famished couple dig in, but the food has been drugged and they drift off to sleep.

Bob awakens in a pit, but can hear Betty screaming.  He is tied to an iron bed, but manages to loosen the ropes and escape.  He finds Betty nearly naked in the lab with Bixby and the gorilla.  Bixby tries to calm the gorilla telling him, “her blood will be in your veins,” and promises the gorilla’s blood will flow through Betty’s body.  “Then she will be yours.”

Bob attacks Bixby, throttling his neck, but Jarbo smacks him down.  Not that he cares about Bixby, he wants to get his hands on Betty.  Jarbo tears at Betty’s bindings and speaks.  “She is Jarbo’s!  No give to ape-man this time!”  Bixby manages to shoot Jarbo, but “the black” — it’s not me, that’s how he is constantly referenced! — is still able to kill him.  The ape-man then attacks Jarbo, but Bob blows his brains out just as the cops show up.

According to Jarbo, Bixby was “obsessed with idea of fusing the blood of lower animals with that of white women to build up the racial stamina, weakened by the artificialities of modern life.”

I have no idea what that means, but it’s a nice little read.


  • First published in Mystery Novels and Short Stories Magazine in September 1939, same issue as Ship of the Golden Ghoul.
  • Also that month:  Germany invades Poland and conducts first air attacks on Great Britain.  FDR declares US neutral as such blood-thirsty, savage nations as New Zealand, Canada, Australia and even France declare war.
  • Jarbo is described as Algerian, but repeatedly referred to as “the black.”  I tried to find a list of famous Algerians to gauge their skin-color.  Turns out, there are no famous Algerians.

Ray Bradbury Theater – The Haunting of the New (S3E8)

rbthaunting00.client.1413241041.conflictSuperman’s hot mother — no, not Ma Kent — Susannah York calls her writer friend Charles at 5 am from one of those houses that is so fancy that it has a name — Greenwood.  She asks him to come to Greenwood, and says he can have the house . . . if the house likes him.

The next morning, he slicks back his hair, puts it in a pony tail, dons his round wire-frame glasses, driving gloves, bow-tie, french cuffs, winged collar, scarf and pocket square, and hops in his convertible — yeah, a bit of a dandy.

When he arrives, he finds York sitting in the garden.  She says the house won’t let her in.  In fact, at her party the previous night, the house drove away the guests.

rbthaunting01She tells Charles the house is his if he wants it, but he must go in alone.  He goes in and imagines the house burning down.

I got nothing.

Neither does this episode.

Just crap.

I wrote a diatribe about how boring the next RBT episode (The Chicago Abyss) was, but it probably belongs in this post.


  • Roger Tompkins also directed A Miracle of Rare Device.  He has no non-RBT credits.  None.
  • Idea:  The Haunting of the Newd.  Then you got somethin’.

When Manhattan Sank – George S. Brooks

pulpmaegawhenmahattan0125 stories for $.99 — they must be great!

This one reminded me of Cloverfield, but without the monster; which I know isn’t saying much.  Manhattan is destroyed and our main character is trying to make his way through the city to find his girl who has fortuitously stayed at home during the holocaust.

The fist sentence almost conveys a sense of deja vu, “Those who survived the destruction of Manhattan will never forget the morning of September sixteenth.”  So close.

Alex’s brother Matt is just leaving to go back to his upstate farm.  Matt had been needling Alex about asking his girl Mary to get married. Alex thinks that would be a swell and does ask her to marry him — by phone, even though she is just uptown.  I guess if texting had been invented, he would have done that.  \/\/1LL j00Z /\/\4rr’/ /\/\3?

Mary accepts  by phone — but says she can’t make it out that evening to meet him for a drink, so these two hopeless romantics seem to deserve each other.  Alex is on the subway home when the first shocks hit.  The train crashes and everyone believes it is due to an explosion until water begins flooding the tunnel.  No one suspects the Muslims because there weren’t pissed at us at the time; but it’s a safe bet they were pissed at someone.

He is able to make it back to street level at 51st and Lexington.  He struggles through the streets encountering the wreckage of fallen buildings, and crevasses in the streets exposing the underground lines.  The area around Central Park has become a sea of humanity washing into the park seeking an area where nothing will fall on their noggins.

Alex is able to find Mary and together with a small group, they work to find a way out of the city.   Eventually, the government competently comes to the rescue — this isn’t Ebola after all — and everyone is OK.

Well, for 2 years until the stock market crashes, the Great Depression begins, a fascist is repeatedly elected, and eventually World War II begins.  But until then, it’s just the bee’s knees and everyone is wearing onions tied to their belts.

Only an OK story, with the writing and story not matching the scope the title promises. But, really, how could it?


  • First Published in Complete Stories, July 1927.
  • Also that month: Ty Cobb’s 4,000th career hit.
  • Alex’s trek through New York cites several locations, but I got lost trying to plot them on Google Earth due to 1) not being that familiar with NYC, and 2) being a man, refusing to ask for directions.
  • Thanks to the Lee7 Speak Converter.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents – The Hands of Mr. Ottermole (S2E32)

ahpottermole01This episode, set in 1919 London, seems to have been the beneficiary of some available sets which make it more interesting than the story itself.

In foggy London town, we follow a business-man who has just gotten off the train.  Walking through the station, he stops at a newsstand and picks up a paper, declines to buy a flower offered from a tray by an old woman, and turns to walk down a foggy tunnel which opens onto a foggy street.  Conveniently, he lives the second door down.  He waves to an acquaintance whistling Greensleeves as he enters.  His journey is a single shot that lasts over a minute with just one edit at the flower lady.

ahpottermole03He arrives home and seems pretty excited that his wife is making kippers.  There is a knock at the door, and we shift to the visitor’s POV.  The man invites him in for dinner, but we see hands reach out and strangle him.

The man’s nephew stops by while the police are at the crime scene.  A pushy reported barges in, but is turned away as the ambulance arrives.  Lucky Officer Otterpoole was on the job.

The newspaper chides the cops when the crime is not solved after 4 days

ahpottermole02Next, the flower lady is strangled by man she knows whistling Greensleeves.

Hanging out at the police station, the reporter and a cop agree that the man must be a foreigner, like the heavily accented Ottermole; who drinks tea, like Ottermole is doing at that very second; is smiling at the police’s inability to catch the murderer, like Ottermole.  And have two hands — like Ottermole!!!

Next a cop is found dead, so shit gets real.

In the pub, the reporter talks about how when something is right before our eyes, we don’t stop to ask how it got there — “like that ham sandwich.”  Is this a reference to Ottermole aka the police aka pigs?  OED has references of cops as pigs as far back as 1811.

The reporter figures it out and brilliantly confronts Office Ottermole on a lonely foggy street.  Ottermole says he doesn’t know why he killed the people.  His hands seem to have a mind of their own.  He strangles the reporter before being grabbed from behind.


  • AHP Deathwatch:  Only Theodore Bikel is still with us.
  • The title just rubs your face in the fact that it is a cheat.  But then “The Hands of Officer Ottermole” would have taken some of the suspense out of the story.
  • A kipper is also known as a red herring.
  • Ellery Queen wrote of Thomas Burke’s original 1941 story, “No finer crime story has ever been written, period.”
  • The tune to Greensleeves is the same as the Christmas carol, What Child is This.

The Dogs of Purgatory – Hugh Pendexter

pulpmegadogsof0125 stories for $.99; they must be good.

Dix is in a bad situation, and not just because of his name.  He has wandered off from his camp, and thanks to overcast skies and the loss of his compass, he was been wandering for 3 days.

Having not eaten in 12 hours, Dix questions his senses when he sees a pack of dogs running toward him.  With no where to take shelter, they are upon him in no time behaving fiercely, but restrained by muzzles.

They are followed by a dwarf, Cumber and a graceful young woman, Florence.  The woman orders the dwarf to take the dogs back to the house, but it is clear he would have preferred to remove the muzzles and allowed them to go down on Dix.

Dix and Florence go back to the house where he meets her sickly uncle.  The dying man tells Dix that Cumber is not their servant but is keeping them prisoner there.  It seems like the dwarf would be pretty easy to overpower, even for the petite Florence. However her uncle is deathly ill, and she is not even aware that Cumber is actually master of the house.

pulpfiction01On the 4th night, Florence’s uncle “dropped into his last sleep.  Once Cumber understood his master had gone, he withdrew with his dogs to the farther side of the knoll” leaving Dix to dig the grave.  So clearly Cumber knows the old man is dead.

Then how to explain his later comment, “The master has gone to a fair country far to the north.”  OK, maybe a poetic way to say he croaked.  But then he continues, “Tomorrow I must be off to find him.”

Florence and Dix plan an elaborate and dangerous escape over ice and lakes being chased by the evil rifle-toting dwarf and vicious dogs.  However, Dix had ample opportunity in the past four days to dropkick the li’l bastard and have a leisurely return to civilization.

However, that would have denied the reader an action packed-chase through the icy wilds with Florence in a sled and Dix on ice skates.  I was never clear what propelled the sled, was Dix pulling it?

Pendexter was not the smoothest of wordsmiths.  As far as I can tell, at the end, one of the dogs grabs Cumber’s rifle in his jaws and shoots him, clearing the way for Flo & Dix to escape.


  • First published in Complete Northwest Novels Magazine, June 1936.
  • Also published that month: Gone with the Wind.
  • 2nd story in the collection to feature an evil dwarf.