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.


  • [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.

The Black 13 – Ellery Watson Calder (1935)

sascoverAfter the last couple of racially-charged stories, I was relieved to see the title referred to a roulette wheel.

Steve King plunks down his last $5 on the titular black 13.  In a million-to-one [1] shot, his number actually hits and the croupier pushes $175 his way.  Another gambler reaches for it and says, “I beg your pardon.  That was my bet.” Fortun-ately she is “a young girl.  And damned attractive” or she would have ended up like Jake Jennings.

Inexplicably, he lets the girl have the loot and strolls out of the casino.  He hears someone come up behind him.  “It was the raven-haired wren who’d cabbaged my thirty-five blue chips.”

She knows King and his tragic story.  He was a pilot who crashed a plane in the desert, killing 3 passengers.  Though he was found to be drunk, she knows that he was set up. After the crash, someone poured gin down his throat while he was unconscious.  If he goes back to the US, the FCC will put him in jail (the FAA being 23 years in the future).  She also knows that his plane was sabotaged.

The girl hands him $175 which is precisely opposite to the transaction that I am used to with women.  She was just trying to get his attention with the cash grab.  She tells King to come to her room at 11 pm.

“She had discarded her evening gown.  She was clad in a diaphanous, flowing negligee. Black crepe it was, and her white body showed through it like a Turk’s dream of paradise.”  She immediately tells him to hide in the closet.  “What kind of shenanigan is this?” he asks.  Who says these stories aren’t educational?  I didn’t even know it was possible to have a single shenanigan.

Another man is coming to her room in 10 minutes.  Her plan is for King to conk him on the head.  They will then haul his body to an airplane which they will take back to El Norte.  King says he’s in enough trouble already and declines.  The girl starts coming on to him.  Looking a gift-ho in the mouth, he wants to know if she thinks he’s cute, or just needs his help.  His solution: “I ripped the negligee all the way open and fondled her breasts.”

She actually just needed his help, so throws him out . . . thus no longer having his help. King is a good egg, though, and circles around behind the building.  Knowing the girl is in trouble, he climbs the fire escape to her window hoping to witness her visitor; and maybe her boobs again.

The man comes in and grabs the girl.  She does not toss him out as she did King.  After producing some secret plans he asked for, she has a secret plan of her own.  She attempts to slip a Mickey into his drink, but he catches her.  As he begins roughing her up, King smashes through the window.  He conks the man on the head, so the original plan is back on track.

As she races to get dressed, King gets glimpse of her “white melons”.  They had been mere “hillocks” 2 pages ago.

On the way to the airport, the girl says there was a government agent on the plane King had crashed.  An organization of international spies coincidentally called Black 13 sabotaged the plane.  After the crash, they swooped in, lifted the secret plans off the agent’s dead body, poured gin down King’s gin-hole [2], and stole 500 packs of peanuts. She finally reveals her name — Yolande Carteret — and says the agent was her brother Ted Carteret!  King collates these facts . . . roulette, black 13, Black 13, government agent, secret plan, sabotage . . . and concludes Yolande Carteret is not married — ha cha cha!

Black 13 intercepts them at the airport and plans to drop them over the desert from 5,000 feet.  There is a double-cross, a fake double-cross, gun fire, a barf-bag, and the other shenanigan.  King is able to save the day.  The spy ring is smashed, his name is cleared, and he gets the girl.  He celebrates by pawing the “creamy white, velvety surface of her swelling  white breasts” like a TSA Agent right there on the tarmac.

Another pretty good outing for what it is.


  • [1] And, by “million”, I mean thirty-seven.  Odds are 36-to-1 on a French wheel. This story takes place in Mexico, though, so I’m going with the American version. Why is ours 37-to-1?  Donald Trump is right — we get screwed on every deal!
  • [2] i.e. alco-hole.
  • First published in August 1935.
  • Also that month in plane crash news:  Will Rogers dies.
  • Ellery Watson Calder was previously heard from with The Tattooed Blonde.
  • Heh, hehe . . . cabbaged.

Tattooed Blonde – Ellery Watson Calder (1935)

sascoverA young, lithe and beautiful blonde is on stage at a rally screaming at the crowd.

You spineless cowards!  Are you going to let the Dixon interests get away with their high-handed methods?  Are you going to let them pay you slave’s wages forever?  Are you going to let them treat your women as they’ve treated me?

With a dramatic gesture, the girl’s hands went to the neck of her cheap cotton dress.  She ripped at the material — tore it open.  Terry Dixon gasped.  In the nickering flare of the torches that lighted her, he saw her suddenly-bared breasts, unbrassiered, and incredibly lovely.  Across her milk-white bosoms, standing out boldly against the satin-smooth skin appeared the word “Striker”.

Terry Dixon is appalled and knows his family would not have abused the girl like that.  A “huge, hulking man, beetle-browed and powerful” takes the stage — Stanislaus Slavich implores the crowd to strike against Dixon Mill.  After his speech, the girl finally “drew the torn shreds of her dress over her naked breasts.”  Dixon follows her to a one-room shack at the edge of the company compound.

He peers through a window and sees she is alone.  He breaks down the door, ties her wrist and ankles, and gags her.  “With a savage gesture, he tore the cheap cotton dress away from her shrinking shoulders, baring her body to the waist.  For an instance his eyes rested upon her exposed beautiful breasts.”  He grabs a washcloth and begins scrubbing the tattoo, although we are sadly lacking the critical 4-page scene where he soaps her up.

Slavich bursts in and tells Dixon that he has played right into his hands by coming to the shack.  He plans to hold Dixon hostage until his father gives in to the strikers’ demands. Now Dixon is the one with his wrists and ankles tied.  Thankfully, he is not stripped. They stuff Dixon into a car and take him to a cabin in the woods.

The girl sneers, “With this guy captured, his old man will have to agree to the demands of the workers.  If he does, the increased wages will bankrupt him.  If he doesn’t, the men will strike — and the mill will close anyhow.

Slavich — no rocket scientist — leaves to personally deliver the ransom note.  In his absence, the girl breaks into a trunk and retrieves a document proving that Slavich is an agent for a competing mill.  His agitation for a strike is just to bankrupt Dixon Mills.  The girl reveals that she is a Pinkerton operative who was undercover to get the goods on Slavich.

Unfortunately, as she is cutting Dixon loose, Slavich returns.  Ticked off at being described by the author as beetle-browed for the third time, Slavich lunges at the girl. “He grabbed at her, ripped the tattered dress from her shoulders.  Naked to the waist, she backed away from him, her bared breasts rising and falling swiftly, pantingly.” This girl’s boobs get more fresh air than Bear Grylls. [1]

Dixon manages to get free and beats Slavich to a spicy pulp.  He averts the strike, foils the competition, and gets the topless girl.


  • [1] Alternatively:  Her bare girls get more fresh air than Bear Grylls.
  • First published in April 1935.
  • As far as I can tell, the girl never has a name.
  • Maybe the only book, short story, poem, movie, TV show, play, or folk song in history where Management is the good guy.

The Moon God Takes – Robert Leslie Bellem (1936)

sascoverThis is the third story I’ve read by Bellem, and I’ve enjoyed all of them.  Even though the three are each very different, this one stands apart. Blood for the Vampire Dead was just as matter-of-fact as the title suggests.  The Shanghai Jester had the same stripped-down prose but with a noirish detective flavor to it.  The Moon God Takes is more romantic and has literary pretensions that the others don’t even hint at.  I was caught off-guard, but it hooked me.  The ending regresses to the mean, but it is still fun.

John Salvar is watching a woman dancing naked in the moonlight before a large grey rock. She reminds him of his late girlfriend Helen.  “Hungry he was for the lovely dancing girl . . . Strange, weird unearthly was the girl’s dance.”  If there is a deleted scene of Yoda at a titty-cantina, this would be his dialogue.

Salvar had lived in the cottage on the cliff for a year and had never noticed the big rock. Who is the woman who seems to him like a Moon-Goddess?  And not just when she has her back to him.

He watches her dancing naked before the stone for an hour before approaching her with some singles. He asks her name and she replies, “My name?  I have no name.  I dance in the moonlight. I belong to the Moon-God.”  Salvar says he is a sculptor.  She says she wishes she were a sculptor so she could carve the large stone to look like the Moon-God.

Salvar offers to sculpt the stone into the Moon-God for her if she will come live with him in his cottage.  Since Salvar has never seen the Moon-God, the girl directs his sculpting. Salvar begins chipping away the stone, but discovers it feels like he is carving flesh.  He is repulsed, but the girl strips naked and threatens to leave, so he continues.

Days later, when he finishes the sculpture, he steps back.  “My God!  It’s foul!  It’s monstrous!  It’s blasphemy!”   It sounds like a modern art masterpiece, but Salvar tries to destroy it.  The girl stops him.  When she tells him that the Moon-God is actually Satan, “maggots of horror ate into his heart.”  She strips naked again and he is suddenly cool with the devil-worshipping.  That’s her answer to everything — her excellent, excellent answer.

At midnight, Salvar awakens to see the girl in the scaly arms of the Moon-God.  She will be his mate unless Salvar confesses that he killed Helen five years earlier.  He agrees, writes a confession and flings himself off the cliff to save the girl.

The twist is that the girl is actually Helen’s sister.  She created this elaborate ruse so that Salvar would confess his crime and finally face punishment for murdering her sister. Her husband Ted was a good sport by pretending to be the Moon-God.  Also by allowing his wife to dance naked in the moonlight for hours, to strip naked repeatedly, and to bang Salvar. [1]

What baffles me is why the stone felt like flesh as he carved it.  Was it just his imagination?  Was he flashing back to carving Helen up like a roast when he disposed of the body?

Another fun story in this collection.


  • [1] There is a similar scenario in Bellem’s Blood for the Vampire Dead where a man is pretty forgiving of his wife being abducted, stripped naked and used as bait.
  • First published in December 1936.
  • Also that month:  Mary Tyler Moore born.
  • Actually, in some alternate R-rated universe, this would have been a good role for MTM.

The Shanghai Jester – Robert Leslie Bellem (1934)


Every time Cliff Downey thought of that cablegram, his square jaw jutted, his icy gray eyes narrowed and his mouth became a grim slit in the hard granite of his face.

Downey is following a .38 automatic with his hand on the butt of a “chink” [1] bellhop — no wait, he has his hand on the butt of a .38 automatic and is following a “chink” [1] bellhop. Yikes — I guess that’s not much better!  This is clearly from a different era.

As the “yellow boy” [1] (OK, enough of that — you get the idea) raises his hand to knock on the hotel room door, Downey slaps it away. He is tracking a man named Muller but must be careful as the cable warned him that competitors at The Argus Detective Firm are also on Muller’s trail.  Downy has traced him over three continents to find him here in Shanghai.

Muller stole $750,000 of jewels from the Vandervorts in Chicago of the Chicago Vandervorts who are offering a $10,000 reward.  He doesn’t trust the Argus gang not to let him do the legwork, slip him a shiv, and steal the jewels from him for the reward. Muller does not answer the door, though . . .

He stared into the piquant, youthful features of a girl — a slender, elfin person whose tawny yellow hair tumbled in a glorious cascade over bare and intriguing shoulder, whose hazel eyes were demurely fringed with gentian lashes, whose bee-stung lips were parted to reveal two rows of tiny, even teeth.  Her boyish body was clad in a negligee that had fallen open at the throat to disclose creamy expanses of smooth girl-flesh swelling into twin firm half-globes straining beneath the soft silken restraint of a diaphanous brassiere.

The good news is, she is Muller’s daughter.  She calls her father out and Downey prepares to haul him in.  He asks Downey to wait until his daughter Babs goes to lunch so she doesn’t see her father perp-walked out.  She goes out, presumably after covering up her firm twin half-globes.  Quite the civilized gentleman, Muller tells Downey that he has the jewels, why not just let him go for his daughter’s sake — and Downey agrees.

Downey is no fool, though, and a few minutes later spies on the couple.  Muller tells Babs, who is not really his daughter, to go to Downey’s hotel, slip him some cyanide and steal the jewels back.  Babs braves the rain to go to Downey’s hotel.  In his room, he gallantly suggests she get out of those wet clothes, and she agrees.

Shortly she reappeared clad only in a bathrobe he had handed her.  His eyes drank in her beauty.  The robe had slipped down over her shoulders, revealing more than a glimpse of the firm contours of her bare and jutting breasts.  her unclad legs and creamy thighs peered forth boldly from the robe as she walked toward him.

Babs admits that she is actually Muller’s mistress.  But a girl’s gotta have standards — him being a jewel thief is just unacceptable to her, so she wants out.  You know, now that he’s busted.  She asks Downey to take her back to America and shows off “her smooth body, her perfect breasts, firm and pink-tipped and provocative.” Babs hands him the drugged drink which he covertly dumps; he then pretends to fall into “deadly sleep”.

Back in Chi-town [2], Downey’s boss chews him out because he heard the Argus Firm was handing over Vandervort’s jewels for the reward at that very minute.  Not so, Downey says — he had immediately pegged Babs as the Argus operative even though she was more of a Vargas operative.  The tip-off was that no man would call his daughter “Babs”.  Downey switched out some fake jewels to make her think she got away with the real jewels so the Argus Firm wouldn’t cut off his family jewels.

About what you would expect from a 1934 magazine called Spicy Adventure Stories.


  • [1] A quote, hence the quotes.
  • [2] This is ironic as he was earlier in Chai-town . . . OK, Chai is a word for tea derived from the Mandarin word chá ().  And the Chinese dialect spoken in the titular Shanghai:  Mandarin.  Now that’s weak tea.
  • First published in Spicy Adventure Stories, July 1934.
  • Also that month:  Dillinger shot.  I guess the cops won again.
  • Also, FDR is the “1st sitting president to visit South America.”  What the — is that a wheelchair joke?
  • Robert Leslie Bellem was previously heard from in Blood for the Vampire Dead.
  • Bellem is apparently best known for his creation of detective Dan Turner.  Good article here that makes me want to read more by him.