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Attic > The Spider: The Serpent of Destruction

by Grant Stockbridge

The SPIDER faces the most vicious collection of criminals and degenerate killers ever assembled under one dark banner! The Serpent of Destruction is a vicious criminal whose goal is to become a kingpin of the ever-growing drug trade. The Serpent has enlisted the vast army to forward his new slogan: "Make it Smart to be Dopey" and has even taken to packaging his drugs with trademarked names.

The story is an interesting perspective of drugs by some during the 1930's. For example, any time a new victim takes any kind of drug offered by the Serpent's men, they are irrevocable addicted. The addicts' mouths were misshapen, hanging "lax and ugly." Morals were lost, women became promiscuous, men driven to violence. Stockbridge also raised a social question- did the drug trade increase because the criminal element, robbed of its income from the repeal of prohibition, turn to drugs as a new source of income?

As in other Spider stories, "Serpent" is packed with non-stop action.

Also available in magazine format from Bold Ventures and in a Girasol Pulp Replica format.

The shadow that was the Spider crept on until it reached the fifth floor and there paused beside a window. Within the apartment, a girl sobbed, a strangled horrible sob that had nothing to do with tears.

The Spider peered in. The girl was on the floor. An amber robe trailed as she pulled herself on stiffened arms, legs dragging, across the floor. Her hair was amber, too. Its smooth flow hid her face. And her breath was sobbing. Upon the back of her amber robe was a sprawling pattern of crimson . . . of blood! The hilt of a knife formed the center of the pattern. It had been driven up to the guard in her back!

The Spider flung inside, dropped to a knee beside the girl. The death-weary head did not sway toward him. She dragged onward, her breath horrible in her throat.

"Alice," he cried sharply. "Alice Cashew! Who did it?"

The girl crawled on, but the gasping of her breath became a word sound. "Blood!" She panted. "Bloody!" Two fearful rasping coughs tore her- "Bloody Serpent!"

The Spider caught her beneath the arms, lifted her so her eyes were glassy upon his.

"Quickly," he urged. "Was it the Big Mick? Harrigan? Tell me why."

The staring eyes focused vaguely. A gleam shone there for an instant. "D-do-" Once more a racking cough. "Dope!" It was a scream.

The specter of Death stepped into the room. The girl collapsed across the Spider's arm. He did not see Death's jaws gape in laughter, did not see the specter, fondling his blade, crouch in a corner to wait....

Dope and the Bloody Serpent.... The Spider's thoughts raced. He had come to this girl, Alice Cashew, seeking information about Big Mick Harrigan who had thrown her out after they had long been lovers. He knew Harrigan's liquor racket had been killed by repeal and he had thought to learn to what new rascality the gang would turn its vicious strength. He had believed that Alice might talk about Harrigan through spite. But murder had stalked before him and, though she had talked, it had been a Sybillic utterance. Dope and the Bloody Serpent. He frowned beneath his mask.

Price: $4.95

Format: Electronic PDF File
61 Pages
First Published: 1934

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