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The Spider: Master of Men

The Spider  The Spider  The Spider  The Spider  The Spider and the War Emperor The Spider Master of the Night Demons

The Spider strikes terror into the hearts of the most hardened criminals. He is proficient and unswerving, and deals swift justice, to those who prey upon the innocent. The Spider's trademark, stamped on the foreheads of those upon whom he has passed judgment, is a sinister warning to all denizens of the Underworld of his wraith--a hideous, blood red spider!

From October 1933 to December, 1943, in 118 episodes in total, six writers using the pen name of Grant Stockbridge, primarily Norvell Page, would keep America spellbound with the epic battles Richard Wentworth as the Spider would wage each month.

Over 70 years later, The Spider has a tremendous following today thanks in huge part to a number of small presses who keep the Spider stories in print. And for those stories not always in print, we have made available even more Spider stories in electronic format. To get you started, try The Citadel of Hell currently now on sale.

Spider Info

Spider Paperbacks

Spider Pulp Replicas

These Spider Pulp Replicas are page for page pulp replicas from Girasol Collectables.

 

Spider Unabridged Audio Books on CD

 

Spider Pulp Reprints

Sanctum Books, publish of Doc Savage and The Shadow is now reprint The Spider!

 

Spider Pulp Doubles

After 25 editions, Girasol discontinued their line of Spider pulp doubles. Here is our remaining inventory.

 

Spider Pulp Reprints

Rich Harvey and Bold Publications started the Spider Reprint Revival in the mid 1990s with great affordable Spider reprints. We have a few left in the $9.95 price range. Wildside Press has picked up the Spider Reprints with a number of re-typeset magazine sized Spider reprints in the $14.95 to $19.95 range.

Spider Electronic PDF Stories

Since 1996, our licsensed electronic pulp novels in Adobe Acrobat format, have provided you with the most affordable way to read great, classic pulp fiction. Each electornic novel is only $4.95.

The Spider Graphic Novels

The Spider has resurfaced in recent years in Graphic Novel format. Continue the story of the Master of Men with these great titles.

The Spider from the 1970's

The Spider was back in print during the mid 1970s, thanks to Pocket Books. However, these stories were slightly edited and updated for the times.

More Spider Reprints

More about the Spider

But the other three men in the room were in action now. After the first stunning surprise their hands had flown to their guns. Wentworth leaped toward the nearest man, automatic in his right hand blasting. The other two criminals, throwing swift lead, found their companion's body between them and the Spider. That body took their first shot. There was no time for a second, for Wentworth's two weapons spoke together and one crime congressman took leaden death through a blue hole in his forehead, the other raised on his toes with surprise and life gasping together from his open mouth. His heart had been torn apart by a crashing .45 caliber bullet.

Ram Singh's gun had been talking in the doorway and now Wentworth sprang to his side. Four men were down in there and Ram Singh's knife slashed into the throat of the fifth as the Spider's gun began again to mete out his stern justice. Seven men still were on their feet in this room, seven men who crouched behind flimsy chairs, behind a long table that must have been intended for the meetings of this congress of crime.

Two more men fell before Wentworth's deadly fire; then Ram Singh dropped to his knee with a bullet in his thigh. He fired the last two shots of his captured automatic into the body of the man who had wounded him. Only four left now: two behind a davenport, one prone on the floor behind the bodies of two of his companions, a fourth close against the wall behind the door.

Wentworth took him first, firing through the door; then he dived into the room, rolling. Three bullets dug into the floor about him. His swift change of position revealed one of those behind the davenport and his bullet spattered the man's brain over his companion in hiding.

The Spider Master of MenThe crook behind the rampart of bodies reared for a shot--and Wentworth's two guns were empty. He hurled one violently at the man's face. Instinctively he ducked and Wentworth sprang for him. The gun seemed to explode in his ear, but his hands were upon the man's throat. He jerked him to his feet, whirling to use his enemy as a shield.

His eyes jerked toward the final gunman and he realized he had miscalculated. He was exposed to the man's fire and it was too late to interpose the fighting hulk of the man he held by the throat. The killer's automatic was leveled, his eyes were gloating.... Steel whispered past Wentworth's back. The man's eyes grew startled; a cry gushed from his mouth and he tried to jerk his body aside. The gun exploded wildly, then dropped from nerveless fingers. The man stood stiffly against the wall, hands rising. Ram Singh's knife had pierced his throat and crunched into the wall behind him. He died that way, his body sagging on the knife. The blade sliced slowly upward with the pull of his weight. Wentworth exerted his full strength into the strangling fingers he had clamped upon his immediate enemy's throat and felt the man die beneath them. He dropped the body like a rag and at the same time the corpse of the man Ram Singh had knifed pulled clear of the blade and slumped with a soft thump to the floor. From: Prince of the Red Looters

She (Nita) knew all the details of (his work), knew to what life the Spider had committed himself. On occasion she joined him in his work. It was their one happiness, working together, for marriage was not for them. What man would build a home, would bring children into the world when he knew death and disgrace threatened every hour of the day in his battles with the Underworld? There was only the joy of duty well-done, of thankless service to humanity amid terrific labors and peril. In these fine persons was no swerving from the path of duty, but sometimes, as now when her sweet blue eyes held his, there must be pain. From: Prince of the Red Looters

Richard Wentworth

He watched the bridge of flames blend into the distance while he calmly removed the makeup from his face. As he worked, the grim and relentless countenance of the Spider faded. The patrician, intelligent features of another man emerged--a man whom the wealthy clubs and hot-spots of New York would have recognized instantly as Richard Wentworth, dilettante of the arts and criminologist extraordinary. From: The Man From Hell

NOT the menace of the gun he knew must be leveled at his back, but three magic words held Richard Wentworth, alias the Spider, a helpless prisoner. "It's the Law!" the man had said, and the Spider did not fight the law, did not fire upon its minions. In his efforts to bring justice to many of those the police could not touch, he often went outside the law. He had killed--but it was the execution of many men who richly deserved it. He had committed robberies when his failure to do so might have brought innocent people to harm. But against the police, he was disarmed. Nothing could change that--not even his recognition of the fact that his capture now, in his own identity behind the thin protection of the mask, meant his own death and disgrace. The Richard Wentworth whom the world knew was a wealthy clubman, a philanthropist and dilettante of the arts. He had friends in the highest circles.... Which would avail him nothing if he were identified behind this mask with a dead man at his feet, with the Spider's seal upon the slain man's forehead! From: Satan's Sightless Legions

More about The Spider: The Spider Laugh

The Spider's most potent weapon is the ability to instill fear in the criminals once they realize the Spider is closing in. A shrill, vicious laugh is one trademark which terrorizes the evil-doers. The Spider's laugh is so menacing partly because the Spider really enjoys the battle and the opportunity to deliver and execute justice. And, partly, the Spider has totally dedicated his life to serving justice, even if it may mean his own life.

He heard it then--a sound of whispering laughter that cut even through the screams of the trapped men. It was a flat and mocking sound, sinister and full of menace--the laughter of the Spider! From: The Man From Hell

More about The Spider: The Spider Seal

The Spider MarkThen it was that Wentworth did a dangerous thing. From a cunning artifice, secretly contrived at the bottom of his cigarette lighter, he withdrew a tiny seal and pressed it upon the forehead of the dead man. There, close to the small hole, was clearly depicted, in rich vermilion, the tiny outline of an ugly spider--the mark of the mysterious killer who had shocked New York City at intervals throughout a number of years. The act seemed more than dangerous. It seemed utterly reckless. Only a man like Richard Wentworth, if there were such another man, would have incurred such a risk. From: The Spider Strikes!

The man's eyes fixed on the money. On the top bill a spot glowed like a drop of blood, a tiny red seal--the Seal of the Spider! The man's breath came hoarsely through his open mouth. "Good God!" he gasped. Suddenly he was on his knees. "In God's name, Spider," he said, "don't kill me. I didn't know. I didn't know!" From: City of Flaming Shadows

One weapon of fear, is the mark of the Spider. When the villains force the hand of the Spider, they usually pay the ultimate price, with their lives. The Spider will then mark the dead on the forehead with a blood red spider symbol. By using a special seal concealed in his cigarette lighter, or by using a seal hidden in his ring, even if he must simply draw the symbol with anything, he leaves the crimson symbol for two reasons. First, he wants to strike fear into the criminals. Usually, the Spider has penetrated the various criminal strong holds that are thought to be beyond reproach. His very presence, is enough to begin to turn the tide against the villains. And second, the mark sends a message to the innocent people and the police that the Spider is on the case.

More about The Spider: The Spider's Weapons

His favorite weapon is a set of forty-five caliber automatics which are usually blazing during a shoot-out. He also carries a thin silk web which is incredibly strong and can be used to climb buildings. He is a master of disguise and uses this as a weapon as well.

More about The Spider: Nita van Sloan

He was beside Nita's chair now. He stooped and, before she knew his purpose, kissed her soundly on the mouth. Nita gasped, then smiled. "I've killed men for less than that."

"So I hear!" Wentworth tapped his jaw with the head of the cane.

Kirkpatrick said, a little helplessly. "Now look here, Dick. Nita is technically guilty of homicide.''

"For which she should be awarded a medal!" Wentworth snapped. "Look at the newspapers, man! They're all cheering her! The photographs hardly do her justice, but then--"

The Spider Wheel of DeathNita flushed. "Those newspaper men! Are they good pictures?"

Kirkpatrick slammed his fist down on the desk. "Stop this! Nita, I have filed a technical homicide against you. You'll be released on Dick's recognizance, I imagine, but I'll have to have an explanation. How did you know that gas was going to be released in the store?"

Nita said coolly, "How did you know, Stanley?" From: The Man From Hell

And it was across New York that he sent his voice, high up into the tower of Riverside Mansions where the small apartment of Nita Van Sloan looked down upon the Hudson River far below. It was there that Nita, of the brown curls and blue eyes of mystery, lived with Apollo, the Great Dane dog that had been a gift from Richard Wentworth when a puppy. Nita painted light effects upon the Hudson and sometimes sold them because her family and her fortune had been swept away by the war. Apollo adored Nita and was quite ready to be the bringer of sudden death to any enemy of hers. From: The Wheel of Death

Ram Singh: The Rajah of Mydoran

And there was Ram Singh to think about. Ram Singh hovering at one side of the room and already suspicious of trouble. Ram Singh would certainly fight if any fighting commenced and, when Ram Singh fought, Ram Singh killed. Wentworth was as loyal to his servant as his servant was to him. He could not send the Hindu to Sing Sing or to the electric chair (for killing a police officer). From: The Spider Strikes!

Ram Singh, amid the turmoil, solemnly removed his shoes and began to wind a long turban around his head. In New York streets he dressed according to American custom; but, in his master's home, he rendered his master oriental service. From: The Spider Strikes!

RAM SINGH straightened, his face impassive. His eyes rested calmly for a moment on Kirkpatrick, then went to Wentworth and stayed there. And Kirkpatrick knew that if Wentworth withheld consent, torture could not wring this evidence from Ram Singh. From: The Man From Hell

More about The Spider: Stanley Kirkpatrick

At Kirkpatrick's puzzled inquiry, Wentworth explained in detail about the Fly, but he told of the adventures of the Spider as if he had heard of them from some third person. It was his usual device with the Commissioner. His work as the Spider was an open secret between them. Wentworth never admitted the fact, but Kirkpatrick, lacking proof, was convinced of it. "I approve of the activities of the Spider, Dick," he had said. "But that's unofficial. If I ever get evidence against you, I'll prosecute to the last ounce of my ability. I cannot neglect my duty. Meantime, if the police can help the Spider in any way . . ." From: Prince of the Red Looters by Norvell Page.

Nita knew Stanley Kirkpatrick, the Commissioner of Police, personally. He was one of New York's few society commissioners but, notwithstanding, was one of the shrewdest men ever to command the Police Force. From: The Spider Strikes!

More about The Spider: Professor Brownlee

The Spider StrikesOld Professor Brownlee was sitting quietly in the library when Wentworth entered. His eyes lighted up with affection at sight of the younger man, and the grasp of his hand was very warm as they sat down together, alone in the room for the moment. Years before, when Wentworth was a young man and little more than a boy at college, Professor Brownlee, at that time a professor of physics, had made the great and only mistake of his life. He had misused funds which were in his hands for safe-keeping. Wentworth had come to his assistance and, by a clever subterfuge, had saved the professor from criminal proceedings, though he had been unable to prevent him from losing his professorship. The friendship between the two had developed as the years passed.

Fifty miles up the Hudson River, near Cold Spring, Professor Brownlee now maintained a small private laboratory where he experimented and where he performed some miracles of science for Richard Wentworth. From: The Spider Strikes

More about The Spider: Ronald Jackson

To the world at large, Jackson was simply the superior chauffeur of a wealthy clubman bachelor, but he was much more than that. They had served together in France, Sergeant Jackson and Captain--later Major--Wentworth, and each had saved the other's life time and again. Afterward, Jackson had chosen to continue with the man whom, above all others, he had come to respect and love. Wentworth knew that he need have no further apprehensions about the assigment after turning it over to Jackson. It would be as faithfully performed as if Wentworth himself were on the job. From : Slaves of The Dragon

More about The Spider: Apollo

"Gun, Apollo!" Wentworth gasped. "Gun!"

He had trained that Great Dane, spent hours in drilling so that Nita might have his constant protection at her side. Apollo needed no urging to fight for the man who had raised him from puppyhood. His long, powerful body straightened in a lunge that took him ten feet through the air. The gun blasted, but it was a split-second too late. Apollo's teeth seized the wrist and the man screamed shrilly as the impetus of the dog's leap hurled them together to the floor in a writhing heap. He got his wrist free of the dog's jaws. Wentworth saw the man reel to his feet, saw Apollo rise from the floor in a savage leap . . . and the door clapped shut!

[Apollo] ... whose saber teeth tore and slew, a beast that weighed a hundred and fifty pounds and which, reared on its hind legs, would top a small man by more than two feet! From : Slaves of the Dragon

The Spider Disguises

Wentworth paid off the taxi and returned to his Daimler. In its curtained tonneau, pressure on a concealed button caused the left half of the seat to slide smoothly forward, revolving as it moved to reveal a closely hung wardrobe in its back. Wentworth folded upward a mirror ringed in shielded neon lights, opened a tray of make-up materials and began the alteration of his face. Under his skillful touches, the skin tautened and became sallow, shining where it drew tightly over bones. His lips vanished and his mouth was turned into a straight, thin gash. It was the work of moments then to transform the nose into a harsh, predatory beak, to gum on bushy brows and draw a longhaired wig over his head. That was all, except for a wide-brimmed slouch hat of black and a cape which flowed from his shoulders almost to his heels. When he had finished, he stared for a moment at the reflection in the mirror, lips twisted in a slight smile. The mechanics of his make up turned that expression into a sinister grimace. Here was the man the Underworld dreaded even above the vengence of rival's guns, more than the entire foreces of the law. Here was . . . the Spider! From: Slaves of the Dragon

The Spider's Penthouse Apartment

There was a faint smile on Wentworth's lips as the taxi sped him toward his Fifth Avenue penthouse, atop an apartment building which he had bought so that could have control of personnel and tenancy--a man with so many enemies could not be too cautious! ...

The Spider THROUGH the drawing room he strode, across the vaulted music-room with its magnificent piano, the locked case contained his priceless Stradivarius. He paused beside the pipe organ which filled one entire end of the room and his hands tapped rhythmically on the sound orifices of three pipes. The columns of air vibrated, made faint echoes of music. . . Wentworth stepped swiftly down the side of the room and a panel in the walnut-lined walls slid soundlessly open, revealing a small, but efficient dresslng-room whose walls were racks of clothing for disguise and whose dressing-table bore the hundred different materials which, in the Spider's skilled hands, could transform him into any one of a score of different men. He dropped on the bench, his hands already at work. . . Minutes later, the hunched and sinister figure of the Spider moved across the tiny dressing-room, but not toward the door by which he had entered. Under his deft fingers, another opening appeared, giving on the service steps of his penthouse where elevator wafted him silently to the basement. From: Slaves of the Dragon

Wentworth stopped once. He picked the locks of Moran's handcuffs and went into a telephone booth where he got in touch with his fiancee, Nita van Sloan, the only woman who knew the secret of his double existence. He instructed her to take Linda into her protection and carry her to his penthouse on Fifth Avenue. Nita was to remain there also, as she invariably did when Wentworth was engaged in a major battle with the Underworld. His enemies had many times attempted to strike at him through the woman he loved. It was far wiser to place her in the armed fortress into which he had converted the entire building below his penthouse and which he had found expedient to buy. From: Satan's Sightless Legions