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Attic > The Spider: Citadel of Hell

by Grant Stockbridge

Ranked as one of the all-time best Spider stories, this Spider story takes us on a fast paced battle where Richard Wentworth is on the run from the gangsters and the police right from the start.

The story also reflects the fears of America during the events of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl years, where the country's food supply is now threatened, with high prices and famine as a result.

His lips were grimly locked. He tugged off his hat and cape, ran hot water into a bowl and stripped the clothing from the upper half of his body, staring at the wound.

The bullet had smashed all the way through. It had drained well, but he knew from its position that cartilage had been broken. It would be days before he could use that arm, weeks before it regained its strength. He gulped whisky from a flask, proceeded systematically with bathing the wound with hot water in which iodine had been dropped, fitted an awkward bandage. It would do until Nita and Ram Singh could come.

Not until then did he sink upon his bed. He fought off the sleep of fatigue, battled against the buzzing dizziness in his head.

Finally, he thrust himself up from the bed with his one good arm. He sat for a moment weakly, pain throbbing through his wound. Two and a half hours since he had dispatched Nita with Janice Hally a prisoner. It could not have taken this long to get her home, summon Ram Singh and come to Wentworth's room. Something somewhere had miscarried.

He straightened with an effort; raised a clenched fist to his forehead, pressing against the ache of it. Wounded, fever, and Nita in peril, the Food Destroyers ravaging the city. Unless they were exterminated, famine would follow.

Wentworth knew famine. A strong shudder shook him. He had seen it in France in the war. Ten year old children the size of three years with ancient, wizened faces, skin that clung to the bones of arms and legs, hunger-bloated bellies. A woman and a man snarling like dogs in a tooth and nail battle for a crust of moldy bread. He remembered a child he had fed, furtive as a wild animal, trembling with eagerness. Its hunger-maddened eyes rose up before him. . .

Price: $4.95

Format: Electronic PDF File
68 Pages
First Published: 1934

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