The Spider: C&G #7

King of the Red Killers / Green Globes of Death

by Grant Stockbridge

The Spider is back in a double feature: King of the Red Killers from September 1935 and Green Globes of Death from the March, 1936 issue of The Spider Magazine.

KING OF THE RED KILLERS

The Spider heard the first dread rumors in the secret councils of the Underworld. A keen-witted, ambitious criminal leader named El Gaucho- backed by a powerful army of brutal killers- was pillaging the West. Looting, ravaging, slaughtering wantonly, the mastermind of crime was ruthlessly following a plan which would make him King of America! Richard Wentworth, debonair aristocrat who is in truth the deadly Spider, protector of the oppressed- knew that he must strike quickly, or die! For Wentworth, ever running a double risk, forced now to sacrifice a brave, dear friend to ghastly torture, faced a grim, new danger in the bounty-hunters who wanted to collect El Gaucho's reward- its own weight of the purest gold for The Spider's head!


Here was one thing, Wentworth knew, that could defeat him, and he realized in the first movement of El Gaucho's saber that this man, too, was a master swordsman. It was not that the Spider doubted his own ability to pierce that guard and kill, given a few moments, but he knew that before their blades had clashed a second time, death would be upon the Spider from behind. Useless to press his attack. A smile thinned his lips, death sat in his eyes.

"Dare you to fight me, man to man, El Gaucho!" he cried.

He drew back a pace, grounding the point of his saber and El Gaucho lowered his point, too, lifted his left hand to stop the assault upon Wentworth by the guards about him, by his right.

"Surrender the saber, Spider," he said calmly, "or you will be wounded, not killed, so that you will live for the whipping post. It would give me great pleasure, Spider, to meet you with swords, but it cannot be. My cause is greater than I. There must be..." He cut his words short with a lift of his hand. "Surrender your sword, Spider."

What, had he lost then? Wentworth's proud, disdainful eyes swept the faces about him, saw their wrath, met the pity and adminiration in the eyes of the woman, and saw there was no chance. El Gaucho, with that blade in his hand, was invulnerable since there were so many to strike Wentworth down from behind. The Spider shrugged, disguising his dispairwith a smile. He lifted the blade above his head with both hands and brought its flat side down across his knee, snapping the steel off sheer.

Originally published in the September, 1935 issue of The Spider Magazine.


GREEN GLOBES OF DEATH

Richard Wentworth attended that gala masquerade ball in his own secret identity- as The Spider, nemesis of the Underworld, the lone-wolf anti-crime crusader who battles always in the cross-fire between Law and lawless. For grim necessity summoned The Spider to his duty this night. His shrewdest, most valiant foeman- the Fly- had risen from the dead to reorganize his ruthless slaughter syndicate. Armed with a deadly green vapor, the Fly's hired butchers were spreading ruin, dishonor and wanton death. And The Spider, lonehanded, his darling Nita working tirelessly for the enemy, must battle both the murdering hordes and the girl he loves!


Wentworth's eyes shot keenly about him under the mask of his diffident smile. A magician, in the middle of the dance floor, was doing fantastic things with green glass globes. He was juggling the fragile spheres with breathtaking deftness. It was a master performance. Wentworth saw that the man's eyes returned to him again and again as he kept up a running fire of talk in connection with his juggling... It was perhaps foolish, bu at sight of the man, the Spider's feeling of danger mounted swiftly. Though what harm the magician could do with his delicate glass balls was hard to imagine. The spotlight which was focused on the man winked once and Wentworth saw his body stiffen with tension. He whirled clean about, his eyes flew to Wentworth and he snatched one of the arcking spheres from the air and scaled it directly at Wentworth's face!

There was no reasoning in the thing Wentworth did, but the Spider rarely had time to reason out his actions. His muscles obeyed the swift orders of his subconcious and this told him that any untoward action in this atmosphere of tension was to be viewed with suspicion. Wentworth flung himself backward, twisted and landed on his knees behind a temporarily vacant table. The headwaiter took a half-step after him and the sailing green globe caught him in the face. There was a puff of flame, a low, muffled report and the waiter screamed and reeled backward, clutching at his throat. His eyes stared blindly from their sockets, his face was mottled with scarlet splotches and about his head there swirled a small clud of greenish gas!

Even as Wentworth glimpsed these things from the tail of his eye, the headwaiter stiffened and pitched heavily forward to the floor. His face bounced and the greenish gas settled heavily downward... Before the man had fairly fallen, the magician had hurled a half-dozen more balls. They flew with a swift accuracy toward the table where Wentworth now crouched. The cloth caught fire from a puff of flame. A woman behind him screamed and beat at her shoulder which fire had dotted with crimson, then the cloud of gas found her face and she tried to flee... and fell dying.

Originally published in the March, 1936 issue of The Spider Magazine.

Year First Published:1993

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The Spider: C&G #7
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 07867700394      ISBN 10: 07867700394
Publisher: Carroll & Graf  1935

 


Also by Grant Stockbridge



Also from 1993


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