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 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.


  • [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.

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.


Sky Goddess – Clive Trent (1937)

sascoverNeale, the American, called himself The Tumbleweed because, like tumbleweeds of his native west, he was forever rolling.

Like the tumbleweeds on The Outer Limits, this one is sentient.  He wants a wife, kids and a home . . . he didn’t want to roll.

He currently holds the cushy post of Acting Deputy Commissioner[1] for Allaha the White Queen of Amatonga in Rhodesia.  Since Robert Mugabe was only 13 years old, it might have still still been a nice place to live.

The White Queen is the son of an English Commander who apparently did not believe in the Brexit, because he sired over a hundred children.  They were of “all shades and coloring” but she was the only one white enough to be queen.  She grew up to marry “the coal-black Chief of the Amatonga”.  The Chief was killed by a lion when “learning to hunt with a rifle instead of a spear”, so  Allaha ascended to the throne.  Later, after her stomach calmed down, she ascended to power.

Back in the present, Allaha and Neale receive word that Lady Diana Sutwell and Fred Blake crashed flying into Capetown.  “Three-score of blacks with spears and loin-cloths” are dispatched to find the white woman . . . and the dude, if he happens to be there.  Before they even have the chance for a single man to be killed by lions — did the Chief’s death teach them nothing? — Blake and Lady Di stumble into camp on their own.  Quickly, her body language is nagging Neale to death:

No brassiere restrained [her breasts].  They stood out, firm little mounds pressing against that shirt of hers as if she was saying “Yes I am a woman.  Now what the hell are you going to do about it?”

Hips alone that would drive a man crazy.  She stood smiling at Neale as if she was saying, “What the hell?  I’m a woman, yes.  What does that mean to you?”

Despite having bedded Allaha the night before, Neale tells Lady Di — the daughter of a duke — that he loves her and wants to marry her despite his lowly station in life.  He knows this is as unlikely as a chauffeur marrying the Lord’s daughter.  He tells her straight-out, though, that he wants to have the sex with her.  She declines, saying that she is content to wait for Mr. Right.

Uber-respecter of women Neale leaves to find the other white meat, Allaha.  Unable to locate her, he circles back to the house.  He overhears Diana telling his assistant Roscoe that of course she and Blake were more than just travel-buddies.  She then disses Neale, saying she prefers a man who lives life to the fullest like Blake.  She and Roscoe then begin making out.  What?

Neale orders Roscoe back to his post.  Blake enters and seems to have no problem with either Roscoe or Neale banging his girl.  Worried of an attack by the natives, Neale prepares by picking up Diana’s clothes.  He says, “I’ll give these back to you before we leave.  Till then you’re going to be just a human female creature, and you’re going about without clothes like any female of the animal species.”  

The natives, led by Allaha, attack the house.  The four white bullet-chuckers easily dispatch the natives attacking the house with spears.  Blake suggests that maybe Diana — who fought while still naked — might get her clothes back.  Diana says, “Hell I don’t want them!” just to torture Neale.  Yeah, that’ll show him.  I mean literally show him.

The natives return to the house and set it on fire — which really should have been Plan A.  The gang is rescued by the Rhodesian police.  After all the stereotypes and racial epithets that I have skipped over, there is this surprisingly progressive passage:

Through the bush came a troop of hard-bitten Rhodesian police troopers firing with carbines from their saddles driving the natives into the depths of the scrub, tramping them down, imposing on them the terror that the white man exercises on the native everywhere in the world.

Only Neale and Diana survive the siege.  That night he goes to her tent.  She says, “You fought so gallantly and I had thought you were just a weakling.  I couldn’t love you when you came to me with your life story instead of dominating me.”

They agree that they hate each, so naturally start making out.  The next day Lady Diana heads back to Buluwayo, hopefully not tailed by paparazzi.

Meh.  But it does deserve special recognition for most gratuitous use of nudity in a story.


  • [1] Or Deputy Acting Commissioner according to his boss.
  • She really is referred to as Lady Di in the story.
  • First published in March 1937.

River of Fire – Ken Cooper (1937)

sascoverA Spicy Adventure story set largely in the bayou which goes a whole five lines before mentioning “barbaric voodoo!”

Dr. Bob Carson is asked if he is willing to be assigned by the government to Okochee Bayou, said to be “a fester of filth and disease.”  The doctor thinks of “Pasteur . . . Lister . . . Walter Reed.”  Although he might have actually been thinking of Reed’s namesake when he heard about the filth and disease.  Dr. Carson not only accepts the assignment, he intends to take his wife Enid with him.

As their guide rows the Carsons across the bayou, they are chilled by the eerie calls of owls and bullfrogs.  “Some folks say dey’s duh spirits ub duh dead,” he says, channeling Buckwheat.  With those comforting words, he drops them at their new shack.  He leaves, but says he’ll be back in a week . . . if they are still there.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

They are surprised to be welcomed by Boll Eddinger.  Maybe surprised because he is described as a giant; or maybe because he is inexplicably wearing a sombrero in the Louisiana swamp.  He says he is happy to have a local doctor again.  A lot of the local “white trash” have been dying lately.  The local custom is to burn the bodies and eat the ashes so that the deceased’s soul stays alive in them, and on the carpet.

He says the locals don’t much cotton to that big-city medicine.  “Last week a girl ran a sliver through her hand.  They didn’t wait to see what come of it.  They just chopped the hand off.”  After Boll leaves, Bob assures his wife, “In a month, we’ll have them eating out of our hand.”  You know, if they don’t get a sliver.

Unbeknownst to the Carsons, after Boll leaves they are still not alone.  “Neither of them saw the face at the window.  It was thin, sallow and heavily bearded.  Dark malevolent eyes peered out from under scraggly unkempt brows.  The yellow green tusks of root rotted teeth hung viciously over a twisted lower lip.  It was the face of a maniac.”  But not so maniacal that he didn’t check out Enid’s boobs as she fooled around with Bob.

The next night, “a barefoot girl in a filthy rag of a cotton dress” knocks at the door.  She is nonetheless beautiful and seems to be wearing nothing else.  Bob goes with her to check on her sick father.  After Bob is gone, the hideous face is again checking Enid out.  This time she sees it and screams.  He opens the door and tells her, white-coated tongue a-wagging, that folks in these parts don’t like strangers and they’d best be shipping back to where they came from.  Enid replies with the punchline from an old Ronald Reagan joke:  But we’re from the government, and we’re to help!

He snaps that they don’t want no help and that they have ways making people leave.  He is joined by a “shuffling, gray-haired hag.”  She begins chanting a curse that terrorizes Enid to the point she imagines a devilish beast attacking her and ripping her clothes off.

Meanwhile, Bob is following the girl.  “A twig had caught in the girl’s dress bodice, ripped it down the front.  It had fallen from her shoulders.  Her youthfully firm breasts were bare.”  Being a doctor, Bob’s first concern is for the bruises revealed on the girl’s bare back.  She says her father beat her.  Bob realizes that she was sent to lure him from the shack, leaving Enid alone.

He races back to the shack and kills his wife’s attackers, but the real action comes when he and Enid try to escape by boat.  The locals begin attacking them.  They throw cans of oil into the water, setting the swamp on fire.  As the old boat is beginning to burn, Bob and Enid dive out and swim under water to the shore.  Not familiar with the old going-under-water trick, or bathing in general, the locals suddenly hail them as heroes.

Points for the setting and going the extra nautical mile for the ending.  But these stories are getting to be a bit of a slog.


  • First published:  March 1937.
  • I fell into a burning river of fire.