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Attic > The Spider: Slaves of the Ring

by Grant Stockbridge

The Spider Magazine, April, 1942

In a letter written by "Grant Stockbridge" in the Web section we learn, "So Wentworth teaches the old lesson again. ... You can't maintain liberty by lying down and taking it. You can maintain liberty only by fighting for it, and keeping on fighting when every hope seems dead."

This story is intended to be a little bit more than just another exciting Spider adventure. It is in recognition and support of the bravery and courage of the people who were currently fighting in the resistance against the occupying forces of the Nazis in Europe.

This being the 103rd Spider novel, it is often overlooked because of the mistaken idea that nothing could be new in the series. But upon further review.... this story reflects the era of World War II and delves into larger than life concepts that were not present earlier in the series.

DEAN looked up at him and, for a moment, the fire of Mike's belief inspired him. Then he shook his head. "It's no use, I tell you! It's no use! What you say used to be true. But the people don't care any more. They just don't care. They want to be pushed around."

Mike Karoli's face was shocked. "Aw--aw, nuts," he said. "Nobody wants to be pushed around. Hell, if you don't tell them. I will! I'll tell them! You just watch!"

He wheeled around and went across the room and the door banged shut. Peggy Dean was on her feet. "He'll get himself killed!" she cried, and twisted her hands anxiously.

Nita said, shortly, "There are worse ways to die! You can die from the heart out."

She went out the door. "Hey, Mike! Wait for me!"

Mike Karoli didn't hear her. He was striding toward the saloon at the foot of the hill. He waved his clenched fists about his head. She could hear the hoarse mutter of his voice but not his words.

Nita ran after him, frantically. Mike was right, but he was wrong, too. This wasn't the way to do it. He'd get himself killed_and, she needed his staunch support. They all needed it. Mike didn't heed her. He went into the saloon and slammed the door.

As Nita ran toward the place, she heard his hoarse shout lifted. "Hey, you mugs!" he yelled. "I got something to say."

The bartender yelled, "Get down off that table, Mike!"

"I got the right of free speech, ain't I?" Mike bellowed. "I'm going to use it. Shut your trap or we'll take the place apart. Now, look, you guys. There's a crook running this state, see? He's trying to stop us Americans from doing what we gotta right to do. Us guys know something about that, hunh?"

Nita squeezed inside the door. There were a half dozen men around Mike, most of them holding glasses of beer. The others were looking at him, from a distance, glasses suspended. An oldish man with a drooping blonde mustache stood close to him. He nodded gravely, downed a glass of Pepsi-Cola, and, dried his mustache with a brusk fist.

"All right," Mike said. "All right! Look, this Boss Masse, he's pulling the wool over our eyes. He bumped off the governor and called it suicide. Now he's got a fake reform government. He's pushing us around. Maybe they could do that in the old country, but they can't do it here. We're Americans, ain't we?"

The bartender looked worried. Quietly he maneuvered to a telephone. There was a small, broad-shouldered Italian just in front of the table. He lifted his fists. "What we should-a do, hah, Mike?"

"Tell people!" Mike shook his fist. "Tell them and make them listen! Don't let that louse, Masse, put over a bunch of lies. Tell people the truth, and make them listen!"

The bartender was back at his place, looking happier. Nita caught the faint, distant whine of a police siren.

Price: $4.95

Format: Electronic PDF File
55 Pages
First Published: 1942

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