Cave of the Criss-Cross Knives – C.C. Spruce

sascover“T-4, meet R-8.”  As opening sentences go, it’s not The Return of the Native.

Let’s dispense with this silliness right away and move on to other silliness.  T-4, like T-3, is a hot blonde — a Secret Service agent named Lilandry “Lil” Sweeney.  R-8, a male agent improbably named Toridzone “Tod” Kinley, is probably also hot, but really, who cares?

The Chief is sending them to the tiny Pacific island of Perambi.  It has never been charted because it is so “small, jungle-covered, fever-ridden” and fictional.  Naturally, the US government has a fueling station there. Recently a supply ship discovered the two soldiers posted there were murdered and there was no sign of the two dozen natives that lived on the island.  Replacements were left on the island, but they were also killed with the exception of one man who was turned into a raving madman.

Lil and Kinley are given purple dye to stain their bodies and knives “about 14 inches long and all but 2 inches of that was blade.”  The Chief says at least one of them will be dead soon.  Ladies and gentlemen, Knute Rockne!  They review the insane testimony of the survivor.  He  babbles of purple gods of the sunset, cave of the criss-cross knives, a coal altar, and Trump for President.  The name Peretti appears several times — a known mercenary.

Lil and Kinley prepare for the mission by going to Kinley’s place to smear the purple stain all over their bodies.  She strips down to her bra and panties so he can grease her up.  He helpfully suggests that the bra will leave a white stripe so she removes it with her back to him.  “How could she know a man’s man like Kinley had a mirror in the house? How could she know it was directly in front of her?”  I don’t know, by opening her eyes?  It’s directly in front of her!

Frustratingly, he only got to watch as she “spread more dye, kneading it into the yielding resiliency of her snowy breasts.”  He is left to spread the purple dye on himself.  Luckily his balls are halfway there already.

Their orders are to “find Piretti, discover for whom he is working, and destroy him.” They fly to the island, strip naked and skydive to a clearing in fabulous purple parachutes.  The two naked agents land in the middle of several natives and draw their unwieldy knives. Outnumbered, they follow an old man to the titular cave of the criss-cross knives.  At the bottom of the extensive cavern, sitting on an oil can, they find Piretti.

He has Lil and Kinley bound, then selects a lucky participant from the audience.  “The nude howling woman was pushed onto the coal altar.  Arms and hands were fastened until she was spread-eagled across the pile.”  A medicine man comes forward and cuts her in half.

Lil tells a cock-and-bull story (although mostly bull) about how she and Kinley arrived on the island.  Piretti reciprocates by telling her that he was hired to break the United States’ hold on this island.  Like every James Bond villain, he drones on and on.  He researched the island and the natives.  He determined his best course was to dye himself purple, strip naked and be their god.  Lil reminds him that the natives also expected a goddess in addition to the god.  She and Piretti start making out as Kinley is still caged.  And frankly, I don’t understand what happens next.  After the sex stuff, I mean.

Kinley’s cell door is opened. “He and he alone was called upon to judge the fate of Piretti and Lil who were captives now.”  What the hell?  How did Kinley go from prisoner to head purple-guy in charge?  Nelson Mandela had a longer ascent to power.

Naturally, since Piretti had been making out with Lil, Kinley has the natives strip him even more nakeder and toss him off a cliff.  Well, that was their mission, and he did order that woman cut in half . . . but I think banging Lil was what sealed his fate.

These stories really are just snapshots — the good kind with topless babes.  There isn’t a lot of room for nuance or character development.  Maybe that’s why there seems to be a page missing from this story that explains Kinley’s rise to power.  The adherence to formula has worked for me so far — another fun story.


  • First published in April 1935.
  • Also that month:  Erich von Däniken born, paving the Naza Lines for the Ancient-Alien-Industrial Complex.  For a dose of reality, here is an awesome debunking.
  • Third consecutive story to mention “step-ins.”

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