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Attic > Master of Broken Men

by Curtis Steele

Operator 5 Magazine, September, 1934

THE BLACK MENACE... ...exploded its bloody chaos first at grand D.A.R. Ball in the nation's capital. Then one by one, a society's great leaders were snatched away, to return useless, broken, inept men. The populace seethed toward revolt against a government which was crumbling before its eyes, and it fell to Jimmy Christopher, to quell the panic and unmask the dread...

"HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMP DISAPPEARS! Gene Lewis Missing! Police Hunting Kidnapped Fighter!"

Newsboys shouted the startling headlines. Jimmy Christopher heard the cries as he swung his roadster to a stop in front of the great white stone hospital. He entered the elevator with copies of the papers under his arm. Before the cage stopped, he read a few amazing lines:

"On the eve of his greatest match, the Heavyweight Champion, Giant Gene Lewis, has vanished. A frantic search is being made for the champion, missing from his training camp since morning.

"It is feared that, if the champion has been kidnapped, he may fail to appear at Madison Square Garden tomorrow night, and forfeit the title.

"Jack Kruse, the contender, amazed at the news, has offered a reward of $10,000 for Lewis' return.

"No demand for ransom has been received by Max Jander, Lewis' manager. If, as it is believed, the champion was abducted, it is one of the most amazing kidnapping cases on record. How Lewis, who registered knockouts in his fights with Baer and Carnera, could have been overpowered and forced--"

Operator 5 stepped from the elevator cab into a corridor, along which Secret Service men were posted. He passed unquestioned to a guarded door. As he entered a quiet room, a uniformed man rose smartly to meet him.

"General Clayton?" Jimmy Christopher inquired.

"Yes," answered the man who was physician to the White House. "You are--?"

Operator 5 proffered a letter. General Clayton read it, nodded, and opened a communicating door. They stepped into a quiet, darkened room, where two nurses were attending a white-haired man who lay beneath spotless sheets.

The Vice-President's eyes turned wanly to Operator 5 as the nurses left the room. General Clayton followed them out. Jimmy Christopher remained alone with the second executive of the nation.

"Why--why are you here?" the white-haired man asked breathily. "What do you want?"

Operator 5 said quietly, "You and I, in my small way, both serve our country. Our lives are not our own. We cannot question the commands of our duties... You understand?"


"I am here for that reason_because official necessity demands it. I am here"-- Operator 5 leaned closer and spoke in a whisper--"to learn the nature of the thing that has happened to you."

The Vice-President's eyes grew round. "I--I cannot speak of that!" he exclaimed harshly. "I--I dare not speak of it!"

"Dare not?" Jimmy Christopher questioned gently. "Why not, when your welfare concerns the nation; when--"

"I can't bear to think of it!" the white-haired man blurted. "If--if I brought it into words, it would be too much to endure! You must not question me!"

"I must question you," Jimmy Christopher insisted. "You are second in command of the government. It is for the welfare of our government that I--"

"No, No! I beg of you! It will drive me mad to have it brought back to me! I tell you, I cannot speak of it! I--I cannot--"

A convulsive shudder passed through the weak body on the bed. A strangling gasp came through the fluttering lips. The Vice-President's hand clutched in agony at his heart. Instantly, Operator 5 sprang to the door.

Price: $4.95

Format: Electronic PDF File
64 Pages
First Published: 1934

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