from the November, 1934 issue. Then, Red Death Rain from the December, 1934 issue.' />

The Spider: C&G #3

Death's Crimson Juggernaut / Red Death Rain

by Grant Stockbridge

Two great Spider stories, first Death's Crimson Juggernaut from the November, 1934 issue. Then, Red Death Rain from the December, 1934 issue.

DEATH'S CRIMSON JUGGERNAUT

Nailed to a cracked tenement wall, bleeding to death from nail-driven hands and feet, a beautiful girl hung, crucified. Sudden, ghoulish laughter shrilled into the night- the mad triumph-cry of the Torture Killer. How could an unsuspecting nation know the dread portent of this first, startling crime, or foresee that the very heart of America would soon be squeezed dry in the Murder Master's crimsoned, relentless hands.... And The Spider himself, fleeing victim of a grim, deadly man-hunt; his allies captured and fettered; his friends dishonored and shamed, is put to the most critical test of his career to battle the dark, evil power of those who drive Death's Crimson Juggernaut!

The Crucifixion Murders, of which Preston Davis had been accused,all had been committed in the block of logdging houses in which thegirl's home was located. First, an artist living in a fifth floorstudio had been gagged, then nailed to the wall with spikes throughhis hands and feet. He had been allowed to dangle there until he died from shock and loss of blood. Two other identical murders had followed in rapid succession. A young sales-girl had been stripped naked and nailed up; then the landlady of the rooming house had met the same fate. And after each killing, tenants recalled that they heard cracked, half-mad laughter as though a torturing madman chortled over the suffering of his victims.

By the time the third murder had been revealed- and all were apparently without motive- terror had spread throughout the block of houses in which the crimes had been committed, and there was a generous exodus of tenants. The sheer unreasoning brutality of the deaths terrified them. The climax came when screams of a girl brought police rushing to the rooms of Preston Davis to find his grand-daughter- the red-headed girl who faced Wentworth now- naked against the wall, a nail through the palm of one hand while Davis himself held a bloody-headed hammer.

Originally published in the November, 1934 issue of The Spider Magazine.


RED DEATH RAIN

Gaunt and evil, like Death bearing a scythe, the lean man stalked the streets of the city. Destruction and a ghastly death followed him like the wake of a derelict ship. Tobacco smoke, spirited liquors, even tea and coffee brought tens of thousands to a choking, screaming, hideous end. The federal government, baffled and clueless, was powerless to act, while the one man who could wrest victory from the arch-plotters was being harried and persecuted by his best friend.... With his beloved Nita betrayed into the hands of the killers and he himself a helpless prisoner, how can Richard Wentworth ferret out and kill the master-mind behind the nation's agony? How can The Spider save thousands of his compatriots from the lean man's death-toll?

He stood tensely watching while the skeleton man, as Wentworth had christened him in his mind, turned deliberately and paced toward the river. In a moment the cold black shadows had swallowed him. All that was left was the echo of the slow, regular tapping of his cane. A frown of indecision creased Wentworth's forehead. Should he follow the man or continue his apparently useless watch over this shop? He jerked his head impatiently. It was not like the Spider to be swayed by intangibles, to allow a mere feeling of suspense and evil so to disturb him. Yet he could not put it aside. He felt death in the cold whine of the wind. He could smell it.

Wentworth threw back his head to laugh at himself, and in that position, with his mouth open, he froze with horror.

Abruptly, without warning, hoarse and fearful screams burst out within that shop across the street. And this time there was no doubt that the screams were human! They were terrible. They shrieked of incredible agony, as if human flesh had found a voice in the instant of dissolution!

With long, bounding strides, Wentworth plunged across Lancey Street. Even as his hand closed on the handle of the shop's door, it was snatched from his fingers. A man staggered out. His arms waved rigidly. His head was wrenched back between his shoulders and his legs lifted cumbersomely in frantic strides. And as he ran, those hoarse terrible screams tore from his throat.

Wentworth whirled from his path, his back to that lighted window, and stared, blood pumping hard through his temples. The man took two, three, four fumbling strides toward the gutter. Suddenly he bent double. Black blood poured from his mouth. He pitched face down on the pavement. Shuddering convulsions rippled over hime; then his body stiffened.

Originally published in the December, 1934 issue of The Spider Magazine

Year First Published:1992

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The Spider: C&G #3
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 9780881848434      ISBN 10: 0881848433
Publisher: Carroll & Graf  1992

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Max Price: $47.00
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# Books: 15

 


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