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 unimpressive 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 delivere 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.

One thought on “Adventure’s End – Robert Leslie Bellem (1935)

  1. The hell ya at, man, I need my dose of snarky witty commentary on all things anthology!

    …Granted, I should comment more to have that appreciation be known in the first time…

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