BIBLIOGRAPHY 1901

1900
Master List
1902
PUBLISHING

SEXTON BLAKE'S LOST CLUE begins a long sequence of adventures which continue over the next two years in THE MARVEL LIBRARY.
BLAKE TRIVIA

Reference is made to Sexton Blake's wife in SEXTON BLAKE'S LOST CLUE. This must be Muriel Blake (nee Lane) whom the detective married at the end of THE LAMP OF DEATH (ILLUSTRATED CHIPS issues 225 to 245, 1894/95). The story also introduces his secretary and pupil Wallace Lorrimer who goes on to feature in all the stories in THE MARVEL LIBRARY. We-wee makes his final appearance this year.
What on earth is Griff? Some sort of trained ape? It wears clothes, black gloves, blue-tinted goggles, a bowler hat and a scarf wrapped around its lower face. It breathes through a respirator and its eyes are like "fiery slits." Griff is incredibly agile but not very talkative; a sort of half bark, half growl being about as much as he can manage. He's been carefully 'trained' by Sexton Blake but even the greatest of all detectives can't cure the creature of its dislike for uniformed policemen.

ISSUES
NO COVER AS YET THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 421 · 30/11/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 1)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: This serial follows on from SEXTON BLAKE'S LOST CLUE in UNION JACK 396. Wallace Lorrimer becomes a member of the Ology Club — a league of scientists who devote their knowledge to sinister ends. He is known there as 'Professor Elias Chuntle' and, at one of the meetings, introduces his friend 'Dr Anton Ludovsky', who is Sexton Blake in disguise. They participate in a gruesome conversation about 'instantaneous death'. Afterwards, they overhear a heated discussion between Professor Septimus Murgatroyd and a stranger. Blake uses a gramophone to record the argument. A few days later, at the village of Bottomly Dale, a corpse is found in a snow-covered field. There are no footprints leading to or from the body; not even the dead man's own. Blake and Lorrimer recognise the man as Harry Dixon, who they have suspected of the attempted murder of Mary Aylin at Battersby-Denton in Essex (see SEXTON BLAKE'S LOST CLUE).
Unrated (I don't own this issue).
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 422 · 7/12/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 2)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Russian Outlaw by S. Clarke Hook; Words of Wit and Wisdom by Pimple.
Notes: Sexton Blake learns from the newspaper that, on the night of Harry Dixon's death, Professor Murgatroyd had been making a balloon flight. He reminds Wallace Lorrimer that during a conversation at the Ology Club the professor had claimed that a man falling from, for example, 4,000 yards from the earth, would be dead before he hit the ground. They play the gramophone recording of the argument they overheard at the club. Mary Aylin arrives and recognises the voices as those of Harry Dixon and the professor. She reveals that the latter is now living in a mansion house at Battersby-Denton. Blake goes to Scotland Yard to get an arrest warrant for Murgatroyd.
Trivia: Sexton Blake has an office-boy named Raffles.
Rating: ★★★★☆☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 423 · 14/12/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 3)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Boys of Dr Squishton's School by Arthur C. Dare.
Notes: Sexton Blake's assistant, Wallace Lorrimer, reads in a newspaper that on the night Harry Dixon was found dead, Professor Murgatroyd's balloon was seen to descend off the south coast. The professor's assistant rowed the basket ashore. The scientist was found to be scratched and bruised, with a shallow knife wound to his chest. He refused to reveal how he came by these injuries. Who, wonders Lorrimer, was this mysterious assistant? Blake returns from Scotland Yard with Sergeant Jenkins bearing a warrant. They, with Lorrimer, travel down to Brighton to arrest Murgatroyd. On the way, Lorrimer tells Blake that Dr. X, the permanently masked president of the Ology Club, who hates Murgatroyd, said that there were only two people aboard the balloon when it took off. In Brighton, Blake leaves the other two to make the arrest while he goes to examine the balloon. In it, he finds a long wicker basket and deduces that Harry Dixon had been transported inside.
Rating: ★★★★☆☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 424 · 21/12/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 4)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Lost in the Catacombs by S. Clarke Hook; After Long Years by Anon.; Words of Wit and Wisdom by Pimple.
Notes: Professor Murgatroyd is arrested. He gives evidence at the inquest into the death of Harry Dixon, stating that when his assistant fell asleep, Dixon sprang from the basket and attacked him, stabbing him in the chest before falling overboard. A month later, the professor's trial takes place and he is found innocent of all charges. Wallace Lorrimer moves to Battersby-Denton where he begins to woo Mary Aylin. But Murgatroyd is also pursuing her, and he is favoured by her guardian, the miserly John Aylin. When the latter finds Lorrimer and Mary together, he horsewhips Sexton Blake's assistant and angry words fly between them before they part on the worst of terms.
Rating: ★★★★☆☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 425 · 28/12/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 5)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Half-Mast High by Anon.
Notes: John Aylin forbids Mary to see anything further of Wallace Lorrimer and informs her that she is to marry Professor Murgatroyd. He makes a deal with the latter that he (Aylin) will receive £2,000 on the day that his neice and the professor marry — unaware that Murgatroyd is only after his fortune. Moments after their meeting, the professor watches from behind a hedge as Aylin's handy-man, William Harrison, arrives at the house in a state of inebriation and argues with his master before being dismissed from his job. Murgatroyd subsequently employs the man himself and fosters his hatred of Aylin. Meanwhile, reports of Lorrimer's fight with the old miser circulate around the village, growing ever more exaggerated with each telling.
Rating: ★★★★☆☆
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 356 · 16/2/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 1)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Court-Martialled by John G. Rowe; The Boys of Belvedere by Anon.; From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: A gang of notorious criminals, among whom are Ben the Welsher, Big Burke, Black Peter, and Flash Charlie, conspire to secure a chest, containing a treasure of fabulous value, belonging to Valentine Viderque, of Lavender Terrace, St. John's Wood. Mr. Viderque is an eccentric old man. He distrusts banks and safe-deposits, and keeps the treasure in his own home. At last, however, after many attempts have been made to break into the house, Viderque promises the police that he will remove the treasure to his bank. Black Peter, masquerading as a chestnut merchant, gets wind of this, and telegraphs the news to Flash Charlie, who forthwith carries the news to the meeting-place of the gang, a den known as "The Welsher's Crib," in the Ratcliff Highway, East London. In the Crib at the time is Sexton Blake, detective, cunningly disguised as Old Betty, a watercress-seller. To the astonishment of all, including Sexton Blake himself, the doorkeeper of the crib announces that Sexton Blake, the great "lagger," is outside, demanding admission. All the ruffians present vow that the detective shall not leave the place alive. The doorkeeper of the crib is ordered to admit the visitor.
Trivia: It is worth reproducing the first description of Griff here: Can it be a man—this strange, repulsive creature so stealthily stealing along? Surely no human being was ever so repulsively formed as this? Yet it is garbed as a man!
A bowler hat, long, loosely-fitting black overcoat, baggy trousers, tan-coloured spats, and great ill-shaped boots. But the face! How can we possibly describe it—or, rather, the little that can be seen of it? The bowler hat is full large for the head, and is drawn down over the forehead and skull, and rests upon large, outstanding, and hair-covered ears. Great blue spectacles, of double lens, cover the eyes and some portion of the visage. The nose is very flat, and of great width of nostrils. The unusual sight of a "respirator" can be seen well covering up the mouth. A great and light-coloured muffler also is so arranged that chin and jaws are both concealed; but what little of the face that can be detected is covered to the cheekbones with short and stiff-looking hair of a dull-brownish colour.
There is something strangely inhuman in the general expression, while the small round eyes peer through the deep blue glasses like two brilliant sparks of fire.
Of wonderful breadth of shoulder, girth of chest, and length of arm, this is an individual who must be endowed with prodigious strength. A crooked back and bowed legs greatly add to the general grotesque hideousness of the figure as a whole.

Rating: ★★★☆☆☆ An excellent and fascinating start to one of Sexton Blake's weirdest adventures.
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 357 · 23/2/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 2)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: From the Quarterdeck (ed.); The Red Detective by Anon.
Notes: "Friends all, the great Sexton Blake, the most celebrated lagger of modern times ..." Thus says the doorkeeper as he introduces a tall, pale-faced, yet handsome, keen-eyed stranger into the crib, locking the door behind him. Realising his peril, the stranger immediately backs down, denies that he's Sexton Blake and reveals that he's actually an out-of-work clerk. The ruffians don't believe him and close in for the kill ... only to find themselves facing the real detective, as 'Old Betty' sheds the disguise. The sight of 'two Sexton Blakes' (for the men are remarkably alike) momentarily sends the villains into a confused paralysis. But they recover quickly and attack en masse. The two 'Blakes' are overpowered, tied hand and foot, and locked into a wooden shed at the back of the crib. Most of the villains leave, fearing that the police may be watching the place. Big Burke, though, dowses the shed with oil and sets it alight before making off. The men are saved by Griff the Man-Tracker, Sexton Blake's assistant. Seemingly half-man, half-beast, Griff is as agile as an ape and as fierce as a wolf ... indeed, he often takes to all fours like an animal. Meanwhile, over in St. John's Wood, Valentine Viderque and his son, Will, load the precious chest onto a hansom cab and begin the journey to the Strand, where they will store it in offices before transferring it to a bank the following morning. But, en route, the chest is stolen from the roof of the cab and the Viderques are beaten unconscious.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆ Intriguing!
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 358 · 2/3/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 3)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Secret Foe by S. Clarke Hook; What Shall I Be? (article); From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: Sexton Blake, his strange double, and Griff leave the scene of the fire. Blake's new acquaintance is somewhat in awe of Griff. "If beauty always accompanied goodness — as, indeed, it rightly should — my Griff would be of the noblest form and loveliest features! You have but to thoroughly know my mute friend to completely love him," the detective remarks. They go to a hotel where Blake treats the down-on-his-luck clerk to a good meal. Meanwhile, Griff traces the gang to their den and attacks Big Burke. A fight ensues but all escape just as the police show up. Blake, following a paper trail left by his weird assistant, arrives and learns what has happened (Griff mimes the fight). Griff then tracks the criminals like a bloodhound. While this is happening, police officers are investigating the abandoned hansom cab in search of any trace of the Viderques and the chest. They follow a trail of blood to Danks's Mews and, outside a stable, discover the dead body of the elder Viderque and the unconscious form of his son. They mistakenly suspect that the latter has murdered the former. At this moment Blake arrives, Griff having led him to the spot.
Trivia: Griff needs a respirator else the damp English air will make him ill. Blake has dedicated much time to Griff's training.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆ Another installment which raises more questions than it answers. Is Griff an ape?
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 359 · 9/3/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 4)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Motor Pirate! by Anon.; What Shall I be? (article); From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: After regaining consciousness and learning that he is suspected of murdering his own father, Will Viderque makes a run for it, aided by Sexton Blake, Griff, and a sweep named Biggs. The police throw a cordon around the area but too late to stop him getting away. The lad, still stricken from Burke's blow to his head, lays low in a house of Tottenham Court Road.
Trivia: Griff affectionately places his head against Sexton Blake's chest at one point in this episode — once more emphasising the fact that he is more an animal than a human. In fact, he's explicitly described as 'the animal' in one paragraph and we learn that his hands 'became feet when he wished them to be so' and that his huge mouth is filled with fang-like teeth.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 360 · 16/3/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 5)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Treasure Temple by H. S. Warwick; From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: The gang of thieves and murderers are trapped within the police cordon, in premises opposite the stable. They hide the chest. An argument breaks out between Big Burke and another member of the gang, Mike Terry. The latter is beaten into submission by Burke.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 361 · 23/3/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 6)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Midshipman Mary by Anon.; Honour Among Thieves.
Notes: Will Viderque betrays himself to the gang and fights for his life with Biggs at his side. Sexton Blake and Griff come to their aid and they manage to escape to safety. Burke and Terry resume their feud and their fight is overheard by a young plain clothes police officer, who enters the building and confronts the gang.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 362 · 30/3/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 7)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Galloping Jack by G. Wells Campbell; From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: The villains leap upon the young plain clothes man and bind him hand and foot. He pleads for his life but receives a brutal kicking from Burke. Black Pete, crawling across the rooftops to avoid the police, brings word from the gang's mysterious and as yet unseen leader; they are to get the chest past the cordon tonight as a raid of every building within Danks's Mews is imminent. The policeman has straw throw over him where he lies so that he cannot observe the gang's actions. He hears them moving the loot. They then carry him up to the roof and he fears that he is to be thrown from it. Meanwhile, Terry, who is being carefully guarded, plots his escape.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆ A very short installment with little by way of action or plot developments.
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 363 · 6/4/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 8)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Your Life or Mine by Anon.; From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: Sexton Blake, his lookalike, and Griff the Man-Tracker are within the police cordon, watching and waiting, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the mysterious gang leader. The latter, sends another message to his men: they are to get ready to move and must clean up every trace of their stay in Danks's Mews, ensuring no clue remains for Sexton Blake to follow. This means the captured policeman must be silenced. Burke tells Mike Terry that the only way he can prove his worth to the gang is to kill the captive. Once Terry has committed murder, he will not dare to betray the gang. He creeps up to the roof, followed by his colleagues, but, as he raises a knife over the prone form, he is sent flying by a dark shadow. Griff has come to the rescue! Picking up the policeman, Blake's strange assistant bounds away over the rooftops. The gang shoot at Griff then attempt to get back to street level via a nearby house... but there are policemen inside and a fight ensues. The villains overcome the constables and reach the ground floor where another battle is fought. A number of policemen are captured and blindfolded. These are discovered, a little later, when a larger force of police break into the house ... but of the villains, there is no sign.
Trivia: Griff feels an enmity towards the police which is 'never likely to be overcome'.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆ An installment packed with thrilling fights, escapes and daredevil stunts.
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 364 · 13/4/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 9)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: King Samolulu's Secret by Julian Jackson; From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: Griff drops onto a hay wagon and, after leaving the unconscious plain clothes policeman amid the straw, leaps away and scurries down dark alleyways until he finds his master's lookalike. Meanwhile, over in Tottenham Court Road, Will Viderque has recovered and is desperate to visit his ailing mother. Biggs, the sweep, agrees to smuggle him there in his cart. But before they leave, Viderque is shot at as he looks out of a window. The bullet narrowly misses him. Back in Danks's Mews, Blake regains consciousness and realises that during the police raid he had been mistaken for a felon and hit over the head with a truncheon. In the confusion, the police had left him there. Now he finds himself confronted by a minor member of the gang; a lookout who did not escape with the rest of the villains. The two men fight furiously and, with Blake already in a weakened state, the detective fears he might be overcome. But he wins through, rendering his foe insensible.
Trivia: At this stage in his career Blake doesn't much like the police.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆ A short violence-filled instalment.
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 365 · 20/4/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 10)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Bushranger's Legacy by J. Trounsell Mugford; In Temptation's Way by Anon.
Notes: Blake's double manages to obtain a scrap of paper belonging to Big Burke. Something is written on it in a code he cannot decipher.
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆☆
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 366 · 27/4/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 11)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Prisoners of the Pyramids by Alec Pearson; From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: Viderque is chased by two policemen. Biggs helps him evade them by pouring a bag of soot over the constables.
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆☆
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 367 · 4/5/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 12)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Crimson Shadow by John Holloway; From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: Sexton Blake tries to discover the means by which the gang removed the chest from Danks's Mews. Suspecting that it may have been via the sewers, he climbs into a manhole. Someone closes and locks it and the detective finds himself trapped in a space not much taller or wider than himself. There is no means of escape.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 368 · 11/5/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 13)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Mystery of Deadham School by Arthur Applin; From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: Biggs takes Viderque to the house of his fellow sweep, Jobson. They treat the nearly exhausted youth's wounds, feed him and put him to bed. Biggs tells Jobson the whole story. The latter shows him a 'wanted' poster — there is a £100 reward for Viderque's capture. Their conversation is overheard by Caleb Carker, Jobson's dishonest assistant. This lad vows to hand Viderque over to the police and claim the money. When Biggs leaves to find Sexton Blake and Jobson goes to the pub, Carker makes his move, locking the unfortunate youth in his room. He then climbs a ladder and enters via the window, brandishing a knife at his prisoner. The two youths fight and Vilderque manages to overcome his assailant, gagging him to prevent him from shouting for the police. Meanwhile, in Blake's Norfolk Street office, Blake's double and Griff the Man-Tracker fret over the detective's absence. They decide to go in search of him and so call for the detective's personal cab. Jiggers, the driver, as he pulls up outside the office, notices a stranger lurking outside. This man asks him to point out Sexton Blake. Jiggers indicates a clerk who is just stepping out of the building. The stranger whips out a pistol and attempts to shoot the man but is prevented from doing so by the cabbie. They fight in the street until the gun goes off, blowing the stranger's brains out.
Trivia: Blake seems to have moved offices from Wych Street to Norfolk Street (the same street in which he lives). The office building is obviously quite large, since Blake's lookalike and Griff descend to the street in a lift. Blake has a regular cab driver named Jiggers. More information is given about Griff in this instalment; the creature is vegetarian. Its 'at home' attire consists of a smoking-cap, long red dressing gown, baggy trousers and vermillion slippers.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆ More fascinating snippets of information about Griff are given in this episode.
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 369 · 18/5/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 14)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Brothers of Hate by G. Wells Campbell; From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: The fight in Jobson's house attracts the attention of a plain clothes policeman who has been following Vilderque. Hearing the officer hammering on the front door, Vilderque escapes via the window and races off over dark fields with the policeman in hot pursuit. Both fall into a clay pit and the officer is badly injured. The youth nurses him back to consciousness and, in the darkness, attempts to keep his identity a secret. In Danks's Mews, trapped in the manhole, Sexton Blake fights off rats while slowly suffocating. He notices that the mortar between the bricks in one wall appears fresh and starts digging into it. Eventually he breaks through and realises that this was the route taken by the gang when they escaped the Mews with the treasure chest. He finds a coat left behind in the tunnel and, in one of its pockets, a set of numbers which may provide the means to decipher the message his double had stolen from Big Burke. Blake's explorations are interrupted by members of the gang coming along the tunnel. He takes refuge in a dark side-passage but is heard by the villains. They prepare to fire their pistols into his hiding place.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆ Another strong installment.
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 370 · 25/5/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
CERTAIN TO WIN
by Norman Goddard.
Other content: From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: Sexton Blake believes that Jimmy Canter, a jockey who is due to ride the surefire Derby winner, Nero, is going to be bribed to throw the race. The detective suspects that the horse's owner, Simeon Duce, will be behind the bribe, motivated by a need to ruin George Mannering, his rival for the attentions of Agnes Callan. In disguise, Blake offers Canter a bribe to test whether he will accept. When he does, the detective has him kidnapped to keep him out of the way. Next, Blake eavesdrops as Duce pays his trainer, Silas Gerridge, to nobble the horse. Gerridge, an essentially honest man, is reluctant but his son is in trouble and needs money, so he accepts the job. Once again disguised, the detective presents himself as a watchman hired by Mannering to keep an eye on Nero during the night preceding the race. After ingratiating himself with the stable-hands by beating the resident bully, Stubbs, in a fight, Blake is given a wild horse to ride by Duce. The animal bolts and runs for miles before breaking its neck while trying to jump a stream. Blake rolls clear and 'commandeers' a horse from a nearby cottage to ride back to the stables. There, he is given charge to watch over Nero but doesn't fall for the trick: the stable signs have been changed and Duce has put him in a stall with a very similar-looking animal. Under cover of darkness he approaches Nero's stall where he is accosted by Silas Gerridge, who mistakes him for a 'nobbler'. Silas cannot bring himself to hurt the horse and so has kept watch to prevent others from doing so. Teaming up, the two men restore the signs to their original position and wait for the nobblers to 'fix' the wrong horse. Then they replace everything as it was, so that Duce believes the job is done when, in fact, the wrong horse has been 'got at'. On the day of the Derby, much to Duce's shock, Nero wins, netting Mannering a tidy sum. In the paddock, the horse kicks and, by chance, Duce receives the brunt of it in the head. On his deathbed, he attempts to shoot Sexton Blake but Silas Gerridge jumps before the gun and takes the bullet. He dies, honour restored. Duce also dies ... but with no honour at all.
Trivia: This is the first of Norman Goddard's Sexton Blake stories. Goddard was perhaps the best of the earliest authors and his later creation of Detective-Inspector Spearing would help increase the popularity of the Blake stories enormously. Nevertheless, in this tale Sexton Blake undertakes some questionable acts which are quite unlike his later incarnation, not the least being that he heartlessly steals a horse from a deaf old man!
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 15)

Notes: Viderque tends to the wounds of the plain clothes officer but the man has broken his back and is dying. The youth decides to go to summon medical assistance.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 371 · 1/6/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 16)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Sworn to Vengeance by A. S. Hardy; From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: Caleb Carker spots Vinderque and, together with a fellow urchin, attempts to catch him. A terrific street brawl erupts with Biggs coming to Viderque's aid.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 372 · 8/6/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 17)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Besieged by Brigands by Herbert Maxwell; Living Two Lives by H. S. Warwick
Notes: Carker summons two policeman, informing them that he has tracked down the fugitive, Viderque. The constables stop Briggs and Viderque as they try to get away and ask after the latter's identity. Briggs tells them that Viderque is his assistant, 'John Thomas'. The policemen are doubtful. Just at that moment, a crowd enters the street carrying the plain clothes officer who had fallen into the clay pit. They are taking him to hospital but, as they pass, one of the policemen asks the patient whether he can identify Viderque. The man looks at the youth who had nursed him and fetched help and says "A good deal like but I know the suspected youth too well to be likely to be mistaken. He is not Will Viderque, the suspected murderer!"
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆ A very very short instalment.
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 373 · 15/6/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER; OR, THE EXPLOITS OF SEXTON BLAKE,
DETECTIVE, AND GRIFF, HIS MYSTERIOUS ASSISTANT (part 18)

by Christopher Stevens (Julian Rochfort) · Illustrator: None
Other content: Thieves of the Thames by Mark Darran; Living Two Lives by Anon.
Notes: The final instalment. Biggs drives off as the policemen busily cuff Carker and his friend around their heads for seemingly lying about Viderque's identity. Meanwhile Blake is still in the sewer tunnels, being swept along by a flood in company with his double and Griff. They are saved by a workman who bears a grudge against Big Burke and the gang. He promises to help Blake round up the villains. He leads them to Murdoch's Wharf and here, after teaming up with Viderque and with the help of cunning disguises, they finally confront the gang. Viderque puts a bullet through Burke's head. (The last we see of Griff is when he goes to bed!)
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆ A poor end to a very strange tale which is filled with unexplained mysteries: who was Blake's double? Where did Griff come from?
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 375 · 29/6/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
FORTUNE STONE
by William Shaw Rae · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Living Two lives by H. S. Warwick; From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: At the start of this story a reference is made to Blake's battle with the Burke gang in GRIFF THE MAN-TRACKER. This is also the final appearance of Blake's assistant, We-wee. This was reprinted (with Tinker replacing We-wee) in PENNY POPULAR issue 73 as THE FORTUNE STONE (1914).
Unrated
SEXTON BLAKE'S LOST CLUE UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 396 · 23/11/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
SEXTON BLAKE'S LOST CLUE
by Percival Cooke (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The League of Seven by G. Wells Campbell; Bound to Succeed by Alexis Graham; For Fame and Fortune by G. Wells Campbell.
Notes: Professor Murgatroyd visits Sexton Blake in his Norfolk Street office. He brings with him a young bank clerk named George Dingle. The previous evening £10,000 had gone missing from the bank. The professor's nephew, Ralph Henderson, is the top suspect and Murgatroyd wants Blake to find him. The detective doesn't trust the professor and so orders his secretary and pupil, Wallace Lorrimer, to follow him when he leaves. Wallace does so and reports back that Murgatroyd had gone to the Ology Club, a meeting place for inventors. Later, George Dingle disappears and is suspected by the police of complicity in the crime. The following morning the papers report that Ralph Henderson has been arrested in the village of Battersby-Denton for the attempted murder of a young woman named Mary Aylin. Blake is able to prove that the young man was nowhere near the scene of the crime; he had been with Rose Denton, his fiancé. Henderson, however, remains under arrest, suspected of the bank robbery. He escapes and meets Rose at Blake's office. The detective promises to protect him and sends Rose for safekeeping to his wife. The two men then travel to Brussels to search for George Dingle and, after a week, track him to Bruges where he is killed by an escaped lion (an event made even more bizarre by the fact that the illustrator has drawn a tiger). In his bag, there is evidence that he committed the bank robbery, though Blake remains convinced that Murgatroyd was the brains behind the crime. Back in England the detective discovers that Rose had been the target for murder but Mary Aylin had been killed by mistake instead. This, and the robbery, were all part of the professor's attempt to blacken Henderson's name in order to profit from a relative's Will. With the scheme exposed, Ralph Henderson inherits a fortune and marries Rose. Murgatroyd remains free, to be confronted another day (see THE MARVEL LIBRARY stories, also published this year).
Trivia: Sexton Blake has an office boy and a wife: "If Miss Denton agrees," said Blake, with a smile, "she shall go forthwith to my wife's house, and remain there as our guest — as our honoured and welcome guest — until you return to claim her as your wife!" This must be Muriel Blake (nee Lane) whom he married at the end of THE LAMP OF DEATH (ILLUSTRATED CHIPS issues 225 to 245, 1894/95).
The Editor states: "The story has been secured from the great detective not without a great deal of persuasion and entreaty. For, though Mr. Blake loves to spin his UNION JACK admirers a yarn, he is at present so busy that he has very little time to call his own. However, I have secured his story, and I think you will agree with me that it is one of the most thrilling he has ever written. When Mr. Blake has concluded his present great case, I shall not be surprised if he puts it before you in the form of an attractive story."
This tale was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 75 as TWICE CLEARED (1914) with Lorrimer replaced by Tinker and the reference to Blake's "wife's house" replaced by his "landlady's sister's house."
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆ Not the thrilling story the Editor would have us believe but an intriguing one due to that one throw-away reference to a wife.
10,000 REWARD UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 400 · 21/12/1901 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
£10,000 REWARD; OR, TRACKED ACROSS THE OCEAN
by J. H. Thompson · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Without a Name by G. Wells Campbell; From the Quarterdeck (ed.); By His Own Act by Anon.
Notes: Story features an American detective called Jefferson Hart. This same character appears in the two serials THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE and KING OF DETECTIVES which appeared in THE MARVEL, spanning this year and next. These serials are attributed to Percy C. Bishop.
Unrated



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