BIBLIOGRAPHY 1902

1901
Master List
1903
ISSUES
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 426 · 4/1/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 6)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Arab Chief's Revenge by S. Clarke Hook; The Black Shadow by Anon.; A Rush for Diamonds by Anon.
Notes: Sexton Blake visits Wallace Lorrimer at the village and they spend the afternoon hunting. Afterwards, Lorrimer, who is exhausted, returns to the cottage where he is staying and falls into a deep sleep. Blake, meanwhile, has his supper at the inn then waits for his assistant to join him. A little later, William Harrison creeps into the cottage and 'borrows' Lorrimer's hat and cape. He goes out onto the moor, knowing that John Aylin will pass that way. When the old miser appears, Harrison shoots him in the chest. A local farmer, named Sutton, witnesses the attack but mistakes the fleeing assailant for Lorrimer. Professor Murgatroyd also sees the fugitive and recognises him as Harrison. However, he falls in with the masquerade and pretends to try to catch 'Lorrimer'. He fails and Harrison gets away, returning to the cottage and replacing the sleeping man's clothes. When Lorrimer finally awakes, he rushes to the inn, half an hour late for his appointment with Sexton Blake.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 427 · 11/1/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 7)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Gleam of the Tomahawk by Anon.; Words of Wit and Wisdom by Pimple.
Notes: When he arrives at the inn, Wallace Lorrimer is arrested for murder by Sparks, the local police constable. Meanwhile, John Aylin, on his death bed, signs a statement that Lorrimer was his attacker. He makes his daughter swear to never marry the man who murdered him. He also tries to extract a promise that she will marry Squire Murgatroyd. She refuses this but, after her father breathes his last, Murgatroyd, who is present, acts as though she had made the guarantee. Sexton Blake, who has slipped away during all the drama, orders his office boy to close down his Norfolk Street consultancy for a couple of weeks. He then returns to the village disguised as Rev. Edwin Clatterthorpe. He reveals his true identity to Mary Aylin and tells her of his intention to find the real murderer.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 428 · 18/1/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 8)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Phantom Raiders by S. Clarke Hook.
Notes: In the guise of Rev. Clatterthorpe, Blake gains entry to the cell in the police station where his secretary Wallace Lorrimer is being held on a murder charge. He questions him carefully then, afterwards, cycles to the village and takes up Lorrimer's old rooms. After a few days living in — and investigating — that abode, he then moves to the cottage of Mrs. Harrison, the mother of Murgatroyd's gardener, William. This unnerves the murderer and he informs the Squire that he believes the clergyman suspects him. Murgatroyd invites Clatterthorpe to his manor house and instructs Harrison to quietly lock him and his guest in the library. Once this is done, he levels a pistol and demands that Sexton Blake — for he's seen through the disguise — swears an oath to drop the investigation and leave the village for good. The alternative is death.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 429 · 25/1/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 9)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Miner's Luck by Anon.
Notes: Blake and Murgatroyd engage in a fierce fight. When the pistol is fired during the struggle, the noise attracts William Harrison. Blake holds him at gunpoint and forces him to help bind and gag the professor. Harrison, who thinks he is dealing with Rev. Clatterthorpe, is then made to drive the disguised detective towards the nearest town. Learning that the clergyman knows his secret — that he is the man who murdered John Aylin — he attempts to break free but is knocked unconscious by Blake. The detective secures his prisoner in a remote cottage with a man named Bowles as guard. The next task ahead of him is to find solid evidence of Harrison's crime, to prove Wallace Lorrimer innocent.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
NO COVER AS YET THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 430 · 2/2/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 10)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: I don't currently own this issue. The following summary is gleaned from the introductory paragraph in issue 432 and may be inaccurate in some particulars. Blake attempts to wring a confession from Harrison but the task is made impossible when his prisoner succumbs to a paralysis of body and mind. With just two days to go until the trial of Wallace Lorrimer, the detective seems to have hit an impasse. While out walking, he is set upon by two men who knock him unconscious and lock him in a barn.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 431 · 9/2/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 11)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: I don't currently own this issue. The following summary is gleaned from the introductory paragraph in issue 432 and may be inaccurate in some particulars. Blake escapes from the barn and employs the services of Professor Gray, a famous electrician, to treat Harrison. The shocks jolt the man out of his paralysis and he is rushed by the detective to the trial of Wallace Lorrimer. There, at a crucial moment, Harrison enters the court to give evidence and confesses that he, not Lorrimer, is the guilty man.
Unrated
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 432 · 16/2/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 12)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Lake of Death by S. Clarke Hook.
Notes: At the trial, William Harrison is able to prove that his confession is true. Wallace Lorrimer is found "not guilty" and the judge calls for Harrison's arrest. But before the police lay hands on the criminal he suffers a fit and collapses dead. Lorrimer is freed but his troubles aren't over; that evening, he learns from a local newspaper that his sweetheart, Mary Aylin, has mysteriously vanished. The two detectives suspect that Murgatroyd is responsible and that he will soon leave the village. Blake wires his office boy, Raffles, to re-open his London consultancy and Lorrimer vows to re-visit the Ology Club... London, both men believe, will be the best place to keep track of their enemy. Returning to the capital, Blake summons his assistant We-wee, who hasn't been involved in any of the detective's adventures for the past six months (this is noted by Blake). He sends the boy to Battersby-Denton to search for Miss Aylin. Some days later the Ology Club holds a meeting presided over, as ever, by the masked Dr. X. Disguised as Professor Elias Chuntle, Wallace Lorrimer attends but is exposed by Septimus Murgatroyd.
Trivia: Blake's office boy, Raffles, is 15-years old. This instalment features a surprise appearance by We-wee; one of the rare occasions in these early days of the Blake saga where a sense of continuity is attempted.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
NO COVER AS YET THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 433 · 23/2/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 13)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: I don't currently own this issue. The following summary is gleaned from the introductory paragraph in issue 434 and may be inaccurate in some particulars. Wallace Lorrimer witnesses the vicious enmity between Professor Murgatroyd and Dr. X before managing to escape the wrath of the Ology Club. He tracks its mysterious president through a disused sewer to his home, which bears a plaque reading 'Dr. MacPherson, Hypnotic Physician'. In the morning he and Blake return to their office in Norfolk Street and are surprised to find the missing Mary Aylin waiting for them.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 434 · 1/3/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 14)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Under False Colours by S. Clarke Hook; How the Diamonds Were Traced by Anon.
Notes: My copy is missing its cover. Mary Aylin tells her story to Sexton Blake and Wallace Lorrimer: She had been cycling along a country lane when she was grabbed by the same two men who had previously attacked Blake. They had taken her to a farm where she was held prisoner and guarded by a woman named Mrs. Mason. However, with some cunning trickery she was able to evade her captor and flee. Now certain that Professor Murgatroyd was behind the kidnapping, Mary has come to join Blake and Lorrimer in defeating him. Blake welcomes her into the team — 'The League of Three' — and insists that she should be the house guest of his wife. They then begin planning their campaign against the Professor — and Mary has an idea ...
Trivia: Blake has an office cat. Mrs. Sexton Blake receives her second mention (the first is in SEXTON BLAKE'S LOST CLUE, UNION JACK issue 396).
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 435 · 8/3/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 15)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Crusoe Up-To-Date by Anon.; The Vanishing Horseman by Anon.
Notes: Blake instructs Wallace Lorrimer to keep away from the office as Dr. X is bound to have him followed after his disguise at the Ology Club was exposed. He shows his two companions an advertisement which he intends to place in a newspaper; it offers Mary Aylin's secretarial skills for hire and Blake has worded it in such a way that Dr. X may take the bait. Their further planning is interrupted when Raffles announces a visitor: Professor Murgatroyd. Lorrimer and Miss Aylin hide while the detective greets his enemy. Murgatroyd attempts to sweep the past aside as if it had all been a trial of errors and tries to hire Blake to investigate Dr. X. The detective accepts the commission for £5,000 plus a £500 down payment. The professor hands over the money and Blake recognises the dates and numbers of the notes; the money is part of the haul stolen from the London and Suburban Bank (see SEXTON BLAKE'S LOST CLUE, UNION JACK issue 396, 1901). Murgatroyd realises that he's made a crucial mistake. Blake holds him at gunpoint and calls for Lorrimer. The latter checks the numbers and confirms that the notes are stolen. Raffles is ordered to fetch the police and the professor is given over into custody.
Trivia: In this and the previous instalment, Blake's office-boy, Raffles, gets a couple of good scenes and reveals himself to be a very early prototype of Tinker at his cheekiest.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 436 · 15/3/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 16)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Secret of the Haunted Palace by Anon.; Words of Wit and Wisdom by Pimple.
Notes: Blake and the police officer bundle Professor Murgatroyd into a cab and set off for Bow Street Police Station. But, as Raffles observes, there are two loafers watching the office and one of them leaps onto the back of the vehicle. He informs Wallace Lorrimer that the two men are spying on the detective team's every move. Lorrimer sends Mary Aylin away and, when the second man attempts to board her cab, beats him away. A shouted warning from Raffles saves his life as the loafer stabs at him with a knife before racing off. During the days that follow many more attempts are made on his life and Lorrimer concludes that Dr. X is behind them. Eventually, the time comes for Professor Murgatroyd's trial. He is sentenced to nine months in gaol. Watching from the public gallery is Dr. X. As he leaves, Blake follows.
Trivia: Another big episode for Raffles.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 437 · 22/3/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 17)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Jack Ashore by Anon.; The Editor's Word (ed.); Words of Wit and Wisdom by Pimple.
Notes: Blake follows Dr. X to the house previously noted by Wallace Lorrimer. Outside, he buys the 'beat' of the local street sweeper and, in disguise, keeps his eye on the residence. After three days, he receives a 'tip' from Dr. X and the coin proves to be counterfeit. Perhaps forgery, then, is the criminal activity the mysterious president of the Ology Club is indulging in? Before the detective can investigate further, he is informed by Lorrimer that an anonymous note has been delivered to the office which reveals the whereabouts of Mrs. Mason, the woman who had guarded Mary Aylin during her imprisonment. The two men catch a cab to the address in East London — Baker's Cottages — and are guided by an old woman into a cellar room. The staircase is hauled up behind them, leaving them trapped.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 438 · 29/3/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 18)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Knights of the Highway by Anon.; Words of Wit and Wisdom by Pimple.
Notes: Blake and Wallace Lorrimer are imprisoned in the house cellar. When their cries for help are met with no response, the detective starts blowing a whistle. Across the road, the cab-driver who drove them to the house, a man named William Bates who happens to live nearby, hears the racket and tries to gain entry to the house. The old woman objects until Bates pretends that his fare had given him a bad coin in payment. This seems to frighten the woman and she flees, leaving the cabbie to free the two detectives. When he relates this to Blake, the sleuth realises that there might be some connection with Dr. X's counterfeiting operation. He deduces that Mrs. Mason, who had worked for Septimus Murgatroyd, may have 'changed sides', now being employed by the Ology Club president.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 439 · 5/4/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 19)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Rebel's Revenge by S. Clarke Hook; Words of Wit and Wisdom by Pimple.
Notes: Mary Aylin reports that the fish has taken the bait — Dr. X has responded to the advertisement placed by Blake and she is to become his private secretary. Meanwhile, Wallace Lorrimer goes to prison in the guise of a convict in order to keep watch on Professor Murgatroyd. Lorrimer becomes convict No.43; Murgatroyd is No.41. Between them, in Cell 42, is a burglar named Henry Jackson. Lorrimer befriends this man and, through him, tries to find out about the Professor's activities. But Jackson realises that his neighbour is a 'lag' and vows to warn Maurgatroyd.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 440 · 12/4/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 20)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Wreckers' Rock by Anon.; The Death Plant by Anon.; Words of Wit and Wisdom by Pimple.
Notes: Wallace Lorrimer has a meeting with the prison governor to plan the next part of his mission to find out more about Professor Murgatroyd's criminal activities. The professor is already suspicious, having been informed by Henry Jackson that 'Prisoner 43' has been asking about him. Murgatroyd is called to the governor and told that he is to be transferred to a different prison. It's a set up: en route, it is made very easy for him to escape. He duly does so and is followed by Lorrimer to Baker's Cottages where he knocks at the door of the house where Blake and Lorrimer had been held captive. William Bates appears from the residence across the road, where he lives, and informs the villain that the inhabitants have moved. He tells Murgatroyd their new address. After the professor has left, Lorrimer approaches Bates, asks him for the address, and requests that the cab-driver meet him there in two hours.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 441 · 19/4/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 21)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Rovers of the Deep by Anon.; Words of Wit and Wisdom by Pimple.
Notes: Outside Dr. X's house, Sexton Blake is still posing as a street sweeper. Mary Aylin, now the doctor's secretary, emerges from the residence and informs the detective that her employer has received a telegram telling him to go to a specific location to 'meet his greatest enemy'. An hour later, Dr. X sets off for the rendezvous with Blake trailing behind. They travel to an industrial area of Bermondsey where, at a large five-storey building, the doctor stops and knocks on the door. Blake waits outside as his quarry enters. Dr. X meets inside one of his henchmen, Wilkins, who tells him that Murgatroyd has been made prisoner upstairs. But Wilkins has turned traitor and the doctor quickly finds himself locked in a room with Septimus Murgatroyd gloating over him. His enemy tells him that he is to be left here until he starves to death.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 442 · 26/4/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 22)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: By Lynch Law by S. Clarke Hook; Words of Wit and Wisdom by Pimple.
Notes: Professor Murgatroyd and Wilkins tightly bind Dr. X then, after locking the door on the inside, they leave the room via a skylight, cross to the next building, and make their getaway unseen by the waiting Sexton Blake. Some hours pass before the detective, growing impatient, decides to investigate the premises and calls the police to assist him. Eventually the group reaches the roof and they look down through the glass. In the room below, the doctor lies dead with a dagger in his chest. Descending, Blake finds the names 'Murgatroyd' and 'Wilkins' scratched into the wall beside a small hole that has been bored between the brickwork. Wallace Lorrimer arrives and the detective sends him to fetch Dr. X's widow. A medical man arrives and agrees with Blake's assertion that the knife is in a body at a strange angle. Upon extraction, two letters are seen engraved on the blade — S. M. Septimus Murgatroyd! Lorrimer returns with Mrs. MacPherson. Blake asks her whether she knows a man named Wilkins. She tells him that she does — he was employed by her husband on private business. Lorrimer reveals that he met the man two days previously.
Trivia: In the final paragraphs, the name 'Winter' is substituted for 'Wilkins'. This proves extremely confusing until the next issue, in which the continuing story makes it plain that 'Wilkins' was meant.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 443 · 3/5/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 23)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Hermit of the Ice by Anon.; Some Queer Finds (article).
Notes: Blake surprises everyone by declaring that Professor Murgatroyd is innocent of the murder of Dr. X. Before explaining further, he returns to his office with Wallace Lorrimer and Mrs. MacPherson and asks the latter to explain why her husband and Murgatroyd had been such bitter rivals. She tells him that Dr. X's real name was Phineas Montagu and that his life had been threatened by Murgatroyd after he married her — something Murgatroyd wanted to do himself. Montagu had never been seen by the professor and so thought he could escape into obscurity if he married under an assumed name. Thus were created 'Mr. and Mrs. MacPherson.' After time, 'Mr. MacPherson' joined the Ology Club. Knowing that Murgatroyd was a member, he took extra precautions by adopting yet another name — Dr. X — and always wore a mask. Eventually he became president of the club; a fact which excited Murgatroyd's envy and which made Dr. X the target of the professor's murderous schemes. Even Murgatroyd's attempt to marry Mary Aylin had been motivated by the money she would one day inherit ... money he could use to finance his battle against the doctor. As Blake notes, "Wheels within wheels." After the woman's story is told, Blake challenges Lorrimer to explain the murder. His pupil pleasaes him with an accurate deduction: Dr. X aka Professor MacPherson aka Phineas Montagu had managed to free one hand from the ropes that bound him, had scratched the names into the wall, bored the hole with the knife point, jammed the hilt into it, then thrown himself upon the blade in order to make his suicide appear to be a murder committed by his enemy. The next step in the investigation, says Blake, is to find Wilkins and, since the ropes around the vicitim had obviously been tied by a sailor, the Thames is the place to look. The detective sets watchers at different points along the river and soon receives a message from one; Murgatroyd and Wilkins are aboard the Mary Alice.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 444 · 10/5/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 24)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Deathless Horseman by Anon.; The Broken Blade by Anon.
Notes: Sexton Blake and Wallace Lorrimer, disguised as river men, take a boat on the Thames and start to search for the Mary Alice. Blake surmises that Professor Murgatroyd and Wilkins are making for a yacht somewhere out to sea in which they intend to flee the country. Spotting the fugitives' barge, the two detectives give chase. Under the stress of the pursuit, Murgatroyd starts drinking and is soon drunk and wild. He argues with Wilkins over the henchman's payment and a fight erupts. Murgatroyd stabs Wilkins in the chest, committing murder in full view of Blake and Lorrimer. The professor leaps overboard, swims ashore, and disappears into the night. Blake searches the barge and discovers that his quarry's yacht is named the Minerva. It is moored some miles away off Southend and is due to sail for New York. The detective sends a cablegram to a colleague in that city — Jefferson Hart — requesting that he keep a watch for the vessel's arrival.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 445 · 17/5/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 25)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Miser's Mine by Anon.; The Treasure of the Wreck by Anon.
Notes: In Southend, Blake and Wallace Lorrimer spot the Minerva anchored offshore. When a steamship arrives from Ostend, they see a detective named Tranton scanning the passengers as if looking for someone. Unfortunately, he overbalances and falls into the sea. He is rescued and Blake introduces himself. Tranton explains that he was hunting Anton Trevini, a French anarchist. After being shown a photo of the man, Blake offers to keep watch while his colleague goes to a hotel to change into dry clothing. Blake discovers that Trevini jumped ship earlier and is heading for Gravesend. He sends a message to Tranton then he and Lorrimer board a steam-tug and give chase. At Gravesend they part; Lorrimer going to the police to report the murder of Wilkins and Blake following Trevini's trail. The anarchist boards a London-bound train with Blake close behind. They arrive in the capital but there the villain eludes the detective and for two days the chase is stalled. At his office, Blake hatches a plan with Lorrimer. Soon posters appear around the city advertising a public address by the great Italian anarchist, Spermetti. The meeting is held and Spermetti gives a rousing speech. But his inability to understand some heckling shouted in Italian leads the crowd to suspect him as an imposter ... which he indeed is. Spermetti is Wallace Lorrimer and the meeting has been invented to draw Trevini out of hiding. In the audience, Mary Aylin becomes scared for Lorrimer's safety and outside Blake is just about to act when he hears footsteps approaching ...
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 446 · 24/5/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 26)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Buccaneer's Lair by S. Clarke Hook; The Black Room at Denis Hall (article).
Notes: The approaching man turns out to be Trevini. Blake has him arrested and taken away by the police. This angers the gathered anarchists and one of them, a man named Devito, swears vengeance. Wallace Lorrimer manages to escape from the suspicious crowd and returns, with Mary Aylin, to Blake's office. A few days pass before a cablegram arrives from New York; the Minerva has arrived and Jefferson Hart is on Professor Murgatroyd's trail. Blake sails for America but Devito has followed him and tries to kill him. The assassination attempt fails and the anarchist falls overboard and is drowned. At journey's end, Blake meets with Hart and asks him to describe Murgatroyd. He does so and Blake is dismayed to find that the American detective has been shadowing the wrong man.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 447 · 31/5/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 27)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: On Active Service by Reginald Wray; The Cabin of Death by Anon.; The Magic Crystal by Anon.
Notes: Jefferson Hart points out the Minerva in New York harbour and Blake notes that it has been painted a different colour. The two detectives enter a bar where Blake gives his American colleague the details of the Murgatroyd case. Afterwards, they are joined by a giant Swede, Mr. Bertram Hargerson, the man Hart had mistaken for the professor. Instead of shadowing him, the detective had befriended him and kept tabs on him that way. The three men enjoy a few drinks and Hart tells his companions about one of his cases — he has been commissioned by the family of an eccentric millionaire named Ebenezer Bullydod to prevent the old man from giving away all his money to hospitals. As Hart suspected he would, Hargerson takes an unusual interest in this and asks to see Bullydod. Throughout their time with Hargerson, Blake and Hart keep him well lubricated with alcohol and, by the evening, it pays off. During a meal, the Swede lets slip that Professor Murgatroyd took on a new identity during the voyage across the Atlantic. The detectives try to get more information but Hargerson becomes suspicious and escapes from them.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 448 · 7/6/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 28)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: For Britain's Glory by Anon. The Pawnbroker's Queer Client by Anon.; The Editor's Word (ed.)
Notes: Sexton Blake and Jefferson Hart set men to watch all the haunts Hargerson is known to frequent. Blake spots Professor Murgatroyd walking along a New York thoroughfare and the two detectives give chase. Without knowing that he's being pursued, their quarry gets clean away. Hart advises that the best way to get back on his track is to first find Hargerson ... and the best way too do that is to pay a visit to The Cripples' Club ...
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 449 · 14/6/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 29)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Fame, Fortune and the Flag by Anon.; The Secret of the Iron Statue by Anon.; King's Evidence by Anon.
Notes: The Cripples' Club is a meeting place for New York's petty criminals; the men and women who disguise themselves as the sick and maimed in order to draw money from charitable citizens. Sexton Blake is introduced to the shabby premises by Jefferson Hart, a familiar face to the club's denizens. They meet with "Slick Sam the Soap-Swooner" who knows Hargerson but refuses to give away his location. Sam does, however, agree to follow the Swede and report his movements to the two detectives. Blake overhears a huddle of crooks planning a train robbery. He hears the name 'Murgatroyd' mentioned.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 450 · 21/6/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 30)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Swazi's Secret by Mark Darran; The Crocodile Detective by Uncle Bill.
Notes: Blake and Jefferson Hart leave the Cripples' Club and the English sleuth reveals what he has heard — the crooks, led by an American named Ike Murnaghan, a Mexican named Rodriguez Gomez, and a Chinaman named Lo Feng, had been discussing Professor Murgatroyd and are obviously searching for him. They know that Hargerson is writing to him and that he is somewhere in Montreal. That night, they plan to hold up the mail train in order to intercept Hargerson's correspondence. But when they do so, Blake and Hart are waiting and after the robbery takes place, the detectives, together with a posse of lawmen, ride after the gang of thieves.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 451 · 28/6/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 31)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The New Boy by S. Clarke Hook.
Notes: In the dead of night, Blake and his posse of men approach the secluded ranch where the Murnaghan gang have settled to sort through the proceeds of their train robbery. Lo Feng, standing guard, is silently put out of action by Jefferson Hart. The lawmen then raid the building, capturing the entire gang. Blake recovers the letter posted from Hargerson to Professor Murgatroyd and wants to open it but Hart objects, not liking the thought of interfering with the mail even if its intended recipient is a wanted criminal.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 452 · 5/7/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 32)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: King of the Deep by Anon.; A Moving Job by Anon.
Notes: Sexton Blake and Jefferson Hart are en route back to New York by train. Also aboard are a number of secret service men, guarding the Murnaghan gang. Hart continues to object to tearing open the letter but offers a compromise — he steams it open. The contents simply warn Professor Murgatroyd that Ike Murnaghan is likely to head north to find him. Blake plans to race to Montreal to catch the professor when he visits the post office to collect the letter. Shortly before the train arrives in New York, Lo Feng wriggles free from his captors and makes a break for it. Jumping from a window, he gets clean away. After a short interval at the station, Blake boards another train, this one bound for Montreal. But its journey is interrupted when it reaches a section of track that has been vandalised; the rails pulled up and scattered. While the train is standing still, the detective spots a man sneaking aboard — Lo Feng!
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 453 · 12/7/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 33)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: True to the Core by Anon.; Perhaps You Are a King (article).
Notes: The rails are eventually repaired and the train continues north to Montreal. Upon arrival, Lo Feng follows Sexton Blake to a hotel and keeps watch. The next morning, Blake leaves, heavily disguised. But the Chinaman's sharp eyes recognise the English detective by his walk and he sets off in pursuit.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 454 · 19/7/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 34)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Breaking Bounds by S. Clarke Hook.
Notes: Shadowed by Lo Feng, Sexton Blake enters the post office to which Hargerson's letter had been posted and there waits and watches. Eventually a teenage boy asks for any post for 'Murgatroyd'. He receives the letter and quickly slips it into an envelope which he posts before Blake gets a chance to see the address. Disappointed, the detective returns to his hotel. The next day, he keeps watch on the post office again and, in turn, is watched by Lo Feng. When the teenager comes to collect another item of mail, he is grabbed by two men employed by Blake. But he throws the letter to a colleague who makes off with it. Days pass with no further progress until, to Blake's surprise, he is approached by Lo Feng. The Chinaman offers to show him where Murgatroyd is in return for amnesty and £100. The detective agrees to these terms. He is guided to a shabby part of town and the offices of 'Samson Hoskins, Crime Investigator'. He enters and finds himself confronted by Murgatroyd with a levelled revolver. He has been led into a trap! As Lo Feng sneaks away, Blake shoots the gun out of Murgatroyd's hand but is then set upon by two clerks. Desperately, he holds his three opponents at bay.
Trivia: In this issue, there's an example of Blake's 'lust for glory' (not unusual in these early years): Already in fancy he saw himself carrying out the long-deferred arrest of Septimus Murgatroyd, and returning triumphant to England, with new laurels added to his fame as a detective.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 455 · 26/7/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 35)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Cavern of Mystery by Anon.; The Confidence Man (article).
Notes: Believing that they are faced with an escaped lunatic, Murgatroyd's clerks, Burke and Laroche, leap upon Sexton Blake and overpower him. Leaving him bound and gagged, they set off for the police station. Looking through the keyhole, Lo Feng watches as Murgatroyd gloats over his prisoner. The villain drags Blake into a secret lift inside his strong room but, before he closes the door, Lo Feng appears and asks for payment. Murgatroyd arranges to meet him at a place called Ah Sin's at 8pm. He then closes the door and the lift rises to the floor above. After heaping abuse upon his captive, he exits via the window, leaving the detective to starve to death. In the guise of Samson Hoskins, Murgatroyd informs the police that the wanted criminal, Lo Feng, will be at Ah Sin's that evening. A Police officer named Herbert Basford arrests the Chinaman who, realising that he's been betrayed, informs Basford that Hoskins and Murgatroyd are one and the same. In the meantime, Murgatroyd sends a cable in Blake's name to lure Wallace Lorrimer out to the States. He then takes a train west.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 456 · 2/8/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 36)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Adrift on the World by Anon.
Notes: Blake lies suffering in Murgatroyd's hidden room, unable to break free from his bonds. After a day has passed, he hears someone at the room's door. Lo Feng, in return for amnesty and freedom, has informed Herbert Basford of Blake's whereabouts. The young policeman has come to the English detective's rescue. A week later, Blake arrives in Chicago where he meets up with Jefferson Hart. Blake has received a cable from Wallace Lorrimer asking why his summons was not sent in code. Blake replies that the summons had not been sent by him but by Murgatroyd. Hart reveals that he has followed Hargerson to Chicago and that Murgatroyd is somewhere in town. The New York sleuth also knows the story behind the Murnaghan gang's pursuit of the professor ...
Trivia: Sexton Blake makes another mention of his unnamed wife. He also has 'relatives'.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 457 · 9/8/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 37)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Rogues of the Desert by Anon.; The Profits of Bee-keeping (article).
Notes: Jefferson Hart tells Sexton Blake that Professor Murgatroyd is in possession of documents which detail the location of gold deposits in western America. The Murnaghan gang had been attempting to steal these from him. When the two detectives follow Hargerson, they see him accidentally drop a piece of paper. Upon inspection, this proves to be a plan of Murgatroyd's route to the gold fields. Hart and Blake set off in pursuit and, two days later, stop for supplies at a ranch on the edge of the great prairies. They learn that their quarry is not far ahead and give chase on horseback. They close with the professor but the villain evades them and gallops away. Suddenly another mounted figure appears and intercepts Murgatroyd. The man Blake has chased across two continents falls from his saddle, a knife buried in his heart.
Rating: ★★★★★☆ After all this time Murgatroyd's death comes as a distinct anticlimax. It seems as if the author simply tired of him and decided, for no other reason, to send the serial off on another tack altogether.
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 458 · 16/8/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 38)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Dungeon Deep by S. Clarke Hook; The Love Affairs of the Rival Twins.
Notes: Professor Murgatroyd's killer proves to be Lo Feng, who has revenged himself for the villain's betrayal. Blake and Hart take him prisoner and return, with Murgatroyd's body, to the ranch. They search the corpse but find no sign of the documents. However, that night Lo Feng smokes an opium pipe and, during his subsequent delirium, talks to himself and reveals to the listening Jefferson Hart that he knows where the gold is.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 459 · 23/8/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 39)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Shadower by Anon.
Notes: Jefferson Hart retrieves a map to the gold mine from Lo Feng's pocket. He and Blake decide to find the mine but first they take Lo Feng to Chicago and hand him over to the authorities. The Chinaman receives 'the extreme penalty of the law for murder'. Blake and Hart next make their way to South Dakota and a rough wild west shanty town called the Red Dog Mining Camp. They book into the local hotel but there Hart gets into a fight with a ruffian named Black Bill. The New Yorker seems to be winning the scrap when, suddenly, Bill pulls a knife on him ...
Rating: ★★★★★☆ Like Murgatroyd, Lo Feng is disposed of with a throwaway sentence and the plot moves into new territory without a backward glance.
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 460 · 30/8/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 40)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Under the White Ensign by Anon.; A Day Out by Anon.
Notes: After Black Bill is knocked to the floor by Jefferson Hart, the two detectives manage to make peace with the townsfolk, their main ally being a man named Red Rob. Black Bill leaves with a terrified youngster named Charlie in tow — who this boy is no-one can tell; only that he has been in Black Bill's charge for some time. Blake and Hart vow to find out more about this mystery child. In the meantime, they examine the plans gained from Murgatroyd via Lo Feng. They discover that they were once owned by a millionaire. Hart remembers the outcry when they were stolen — and that there's a huge reward for whoever returns them. Unfortunately, when he tells Blake this, Black Bill is eavesdropping.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 461 · 6/9/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 41)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Redskin Gold by Anon.
Notes: Blake and Jefferson Hart rush out of their rooms to catch Black Bill but the villain has vanished. They return and copy out the directions to the secret gold mine which they decide to name the Narrow Squeak Claim. In the morning they set off to find the mine. They are joined by their new-found friend Red Rob. As the trio rides out of Red Dog Valley, the eyes of Black Bill are watching. Blake, Hart and Rob search the hills for some time and discover an abandoned ranch house. Although it is empty, it seems to be well-maintained, as if someone visited it form time to time.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 462 · 13/9/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 42)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Secret of the Silver-Mine by Wallace Morrell; The Secret of the Tunnel by Anon.
Notes: Sexton Blake, Red Rob and Jefferson Hart take up residence in the abandoned ranch house and continue their search for the secret gold mine. One night, the door is opened and a Sioux indian steps in. He declares that he comes in peace and introduces himself as Single Eye — a name he gained after a white man robbed him of one eye. He tells the gold hunters that twice a month a vengeful spirit visits the ranch house and they should beware. He also makes a deal with Sexton Blake — if the detective helps him to trace the man who earned him his name, he will, in return, guide them to the mine. Blake agrees. The next morning the redskin takes them to the mine and they strike gold. Blake, meanwhile, identifies Single Eye's assailant — Black Bill!
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 463 · 20/9/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 43)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Forest of Death by Anon.; Jean Macrond's Secret by Anon.; The Quack Doctor by Anon.
Notes: Blake rounds up a posse of lawmen and, with Single Eye, rides into Red Dog town. Black Bill learns that they are coming for him and flees on horseback, taking with him the young boy, Charlie. The posse catches up but the villain, halted at the edge of a canyon, threatens to drop the child over the edge if they come any closer. Single Eye creeps round him and attacks. Charlie runs free and Black Bill plummets into the canyon, a knife in his breast.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
NO COVER AS YET THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 464 · 27/9/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 44)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Blake and his friends take charge of the boy, Charlie, who they learn has been kidnapped. There is a reward offered for his recovery. They return to their ranch where they repel an attack by some roughnecks. Later, Blake and Jefferson Hart are working in the mine when they hear a gunshot ...
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 465 · 4/10/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 45)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: High Jinks by Anon.; The Usher's Ride by Anon.
Notes: Blake and Jefferson Hart race to their ranch where they find Red Rob seriously wounded. Charlie is tied up inside and the documents relating to the mine have been stolen. Red Rob describes his attackers and the two detectives realise that the gang was led by Bertram Hargerson — he is taking the documents back to the millionaire who is offering a huge reward for their recovery. Blake and Hart leave Charlie in the care of a kindly rancher and set off in pursuit. They eventually reach New York shortly after their quarry. When they meet the millionaire, they learn that he has taken receipt of the papers but has not yet handed over the reward — wanting to verify the documents' authenticity first. Hargerson is due to return for his money the following day. Hart convinces the tycoon that he and Blake are the men who should receive the reward and that Hargerson is a criminal. They duly receive the money. Blake insists that Hart keep it all, as he himself will be well paid by the wife of Dr. X after his successful pursuit of Professor Murgatroyd. Red Rob, meanwhile, can return Charlie to his parents and claim the reward for doing so. Days later, Blake, in disguise, is on board a liner bound for England. Hargerson is also aboard. Upon arrival, Blake is greeted by Wallace Lorrimer. He tells his assistant that Hargerson is now in England, plotting revenge for Murgatroyd's death. When the detective's office boy brings in a visiting card, Blake is surprised to see the name of Bertram Hargerson upon it.
Trivia: Sexton Blake's office boy, previously named 'Raffles', is now named Praggles. This instalment ends with the announcement that Book II will begin in the next issue. In fact, it begins one issue later.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 466 · 11/10/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK I: THE REAL ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (part 46)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Tigers of the Deep by Anon.
Notes: This instalment concludes Book I. Bertram Hargerson enters the office and tries to commission Sexton Blake to search for Mary Aylin. Blake refuses. Wallace Lorrimer warns Hargerson to stay away from Miss Aylin. After the giant Swede has left, Lorrimer writes to his fiancé. It is the second time he has written that day. On the first occasion, it was to inform her that he had come into a big legacy. He gives the letter to the office-boy to deliver. Outside, Raggles is accosted by Hargerson who steals the letter and takes it to Mary Aylin's address. Lorrimer's note advises her to accompany the bearer to a place of safety. Unknowingly falling into the villain's hands, she goes with him to a house in Marylebone. Hargerson schemes to get his hands on her fortune. A week passes and Lorrimer is beside himself with concern for the vanished girl's safety. Eventually a cab driver gives the detectives a lead and they set off on the trail ... but Hargerson is moving from place to place, taking Mary Aylin with him. Eventually they catch up with the man, at the very moment he is attending the wedding of Aylin and a Lorrimer-lookalike. The latter escapes but the Swede is tackled and dies when his gun goes off. The real Lorrimer agrees to marry his love at the soonest possible moment. He also agrees to leave the detective business and, we are told, goes on to become a successful lawyer. Thus ends Book I.
Trivia: The office-boy, Raffles, who in the last issue became Praggles, has now become Raggles. In one scene in this instalment he is sitting in Blake's office reading the MARVEL!
Rating: ★★★★★☆
KING OF DETECTIVES THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 467 · 18/10/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK II: KING OF DETECTIVES; OR, SEXTON BLAKE OUT WEST (part 1)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Hunchback of Milton Grange by Anon.; Criminals No Detective Can Tackle (article).
Notes: Raggles the office boy brings a telegram to Sexton Blake. It is from the detective's old friend John Graves, a jeweller in Salisbury, who has suffered a robbery. Wallace Lorrimer, who has resumed work with Blake despite his promise to his wife that he would give up the business, insists on helping the detective with the case. On the way to the train station, on Falcon Street, they witness a man hastily having his beard removed at a barber's. They then learn that a murder has been committed nearby in a richly decorated room (though the house and area is otherwise poverty-stricken). After reporting the crime to the police, the partners continue their journey to the cathedral city. On the way, Blake guesses that the murder victim was a fence and that the man in the barber shop may have not only been the killer but might also be connected with the Graves case. In Salisbury, he begins investigating the burglary and discovers a line of footprints in the snow at the back of Graves' house.
Trivia: At the start of this adventure, Wallace Lorrimer and Sexton Blake have been working together for two years and ten weeks.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆
KING OF DETECTIVES THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 468 · 25/10/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK II: KING OF DETECTIVES (part 2)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Haunted Tower by Anon.; Uncle Bill's Schooldays by Anon.
Notes: Blake examines the footprints which suggest a connection with the man he and Wallace Lorrimer had seen at the barber's. Returning to London — but leaving Lorrimer to pose as Graves' shop assistant — Blake learns that his chief suspect is named John Benton and he has been detained by the police for murder. Meanwhile, Lorrimer uncovers evidence that John Graves may have himself committed the jewel robbery.
Trivia: From this instalment, the secondary title of SEXTON BLAKE OUT WEST is dropped and replaced by 'Or, the Further Exploits and Triumphs of SEXTON BLAKE, the renowned Crime Investigator.'
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆
KING OF DETECTIVES THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 469 · 1/11/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK II: KING OF DETECTIVES (part 3)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: True Grit by Eric Metcalfe.
Notes: In Graves' shop, Wallace Lorrimer receives a visit from John Oliver Short, a detective who's working for Graves' insurance company. Short asserts that the jeweller committed the robbery himself in order to defraud the company. Lorrimer is inclined to agree with him but, via telegram, is instructed by Blake to take no action. Short confronts Graves just as Sexton Blake arrives. He has brought with him a man he claims is the thief. It is Graves' nephew, Richard Littlejohn.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆
KING OF DETECTIVES THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 470 · 8/11/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK II: KING OF DETECTIVES (part 4)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: For Life and Liberty by Mark Darran; The Shade of Dr. Argo by Anon.
Notes: Blake tells Graves to take a second look at the man he has just introduced as the jewel thief. Graves does so and discovers that it is not his nephew at all, but a marvellous likeness of him. Blake explains that the supposed connection between the robbery and the man John Benton was false; that the investigation was further hampered by the fact that Graves didn't reveal everything on account of suspecting his own nephew of the crime. The footprints provided another red herring, for there had been no snowfall until after the robbery — and Graves had made the prints himself while sleepwalking! In truth, the theft had been committed by Robert Thisleton, son of Squire Hildebrand, who now pleads guilty and returns the jewels. He claims to have acted out of vengeance and is about to explain when a bullet shatters the window and hits John Oliver Short.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆
KING OF DETECTIVES THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 471 · 15/11/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK II: KING OF DETECTIVES (part 5)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Flying From Justice by Alec G. Pearson.
Notes: Sexton Blake and Wallace Lorrimer race out of the shop and see a man running away. They chase after him and witness him entering a cellar via an alleyway. Their quarry locks the trapdoor after him, so the two detectives circle the building until they find a window which opens onto the room. Inside, they observe five men, each resembling one another and all dressed exactly the same. The members of this 'League of Five' all wear a badge with a number on it. No.1 asks No.5 whether he killed John Oliver Short. No.5 replies that he can't be certain. These men, thinks Blake, seem to distrust one another yet are obviously working together on some criminal scheme. The meeting breaks up and as No.5 leaves the detectives pounce upon him. They take him to John Graves' shop where Short lies wounded but out of danger. No.5's appearance proves to be a disguise which, once removed, reveals him to be George Harrison, a burglar known to Blake.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆
KING OF DETECTIVES THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 472 · 22/11/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK II: KING OF DETECTIVES (part 6)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Arab Stronghold by Anon.; The Crossways Tragedy by Anon.
Notes: Blake and Wallace Lorrimer escort their prisoner by train to London but, en route, he attempts to escape and during the struggle falls out of the carriage into the path of an oncoming train and is killed. Leaving Lorrimer to return to the office, Blake takes on the identity of Harrison in order to infiltrate the League of Five. Meanwhile, Ralph Thistleton tells John Oliver Short his story: he had fallen in love with a girl named Rose Dayrell but had a rival in Richard Graves, the jeweller's nephew. He had sought revenge on Richard after learning that his rival had won Rose's hand and so tried to frame him for robbery. Later, he repented and is now returning the stolen jewels and intends to emigrate to Canada.
Trivia: In major inconsistencies, George Harrison has mysteriously become James Harrison and his League of Five number has changed from 5 to 3, while Robert Thistleton has become Ralph!
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆
KING OF DETECTIVES THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 473 · 29/11/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK II: KING OF DETECTIVES (part 7)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: King of the Palekas by Anon.
Notes: Sexton Blake, in disguise, befriends John Oliver Short and warns him that further threats will be made on his life. Short refuses to act on the advice. Blake, learning that the League of Five are to meet again, disguises himself as No. 3 and infiltrates the gang. He is ordered to kill short but manages to get a week's grace before the deed must be done.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆
KING OF DETECTIVES THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 474 · 6/12/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK II: KING OF DETECTIVES (part 8)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Ghost of Ardley Grange by Melville Mannering; The Ghost of the Guard Room by George Gerrish; The Robbery at the Mount by Anon.; 1,000 Ways of Earning a Living (article); Christmas Fun (article).
Notes: Double Christmas issue. The meeting of the League of Five continues. Sexton Blake, disguised as No. 3, agrees to assist No. 2 with a bank robbery. Days later he does just that but with an element of his own added to the plan — the police! The robbery is foiled and No. 2 is taken into custody. Next, Blake fakes a photograph which suggests that he has successfully done away with John Oliver Short. He shows this at the next meeting of the League ... a meeting which is then broken up by a police raid. The criminal gang is defeated. Back at his Norfolk Street office, Raggles the office boy delivers a letter. It is from the headmaster of Drearville College in Yorkshire. He pleads for Blake to come and investigate a series of thefts. The detective decides to send Wallace Lorrimer there in the guise of a new pupil.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆
KING OF DETECTIVES THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 475 · 13/12/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK II: KING OF DETECTIVES (part 9)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Britisher Bob by Anon.; Phantom or Mortal? by Anon.; Saved from the Devil's Jaws by Anon.
Notes: Sexton Blake writes a letter of introduction to Dr Thrashard — the headmaster of Drearville Academy — in which he introduces Wallace Lorrimer as Timothy Tattlemore, a 19-year-old whose private education needs to be supplemented. Lorrimer travels to the school and is picked up at the train station by the establishment's handy-man, Job Keen. Upon arrival, he sets about ingratiating himself with his fellow pupils.
Trivia: When Lorrimer leaves to travel to the school, he is seen off at the station by two ladies. One is his wife. The other is 'Mrs Sexton Blake'.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆
KING OF DETECTIVES THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 476 · 20/12/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK II: KING OF DETECTIVES (part 10)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Pharaoh's Treasure-House by Anon.; The Scuttled Ship by Anon.
Notes: Timothy Tattlemore (otherwise Wallace Lorrimer) learns that the school is supposedly haunted and that the assistant master, Mr Sweetly, may be a spiritualist. During the night, Tattlemore witnesses the headmaster sleepwalking and follows him. Thrashmore enters through a baize doorway into the abandoned east wing of the building. The door locks behind him and Tattlemore's attempt to stay on his trail is thwarted.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆
KING OF DETECTIVES THE MARVEL LIBRARY · Issue 477 · 27/12/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
BOOK II: KING OF DETECTIVES (part 11)
by Anon. (Percy C. Bishop) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: In Haunted Realms by S. Clarke Hook; The Spirit on the Bridge by Anon.
Notes: Tattlemore (Wallace Lorrimer) plays the dunce in classes but excels on the sports field. This earns him the loyalty of his fellow pupils, particularly one named Tom Watkins. Next day, a rumour spreads that another robbery has been committed at the school. Watkins tells him that since the term began items have been stolen from the boys and the masters. Mr Sweetly, he says, thinks a ghost is responsible. Tattlemore confides in Watkins about seeing the headmaster sleepwalking ... not realising that he is overheard by a local man named Ned Garstike. Watkins informs his new friend that a few weeks previously a pupil named Claude Henshaw went missing.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆
KING OF DETECTIVES UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 411 · 8/3/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
TRACKED ACROSS THE SEA
by A. G. Pearson · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Shadowed for Life by Anon.; From the Quarterdeck (ed.)
Notes: Story features Maxwell Grey.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 420 · 10/5/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
THE CLUE OF THE FRECKLED HAND
by Paul Herring · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
KING OF DETECTIVES UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 426 · 21/6/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
ENEMIES OF THE KING; OR, THE PERIL OF THE FLEET
by Alec G. Pearson · Illustrator: J. S. Bennett
Other content: Shadowed For Life by Anon.
Notes: A man named Maxwell Grey — the 'sea detective' — is visited by the First Lord of the Admiralty who reveals that foreign spies intend to damage vessels in the Navy's fleet. The agents are currently believed to be in France and Grey is commissioned to stop them by whatever means. Noticing that his visitor has been followed, Grey bids him farewell then shadows his tail. Arriving at a shabby-looking house, Grey quietly breaks in after his quarry has entered. He hears a meeting and mention of something due to happen in Cherbourg on the 15th, then boldly enters the room and imprints the four faces he sees on his memory before making a quick getaway. A few days later, Grey discovers that Sexton Blake is also on the case and meets him on the outskirts of Cherbourg. Blake has discovered that the spies are to gather on a ship named the Garonne, so Grey disguises himself as the ship's steward and replaces that man. Blake stows away and soon both men are at sea with the group of spies. These men, led by a submarine designer named Ambrose Gautier, hate Britain and plan to make their attack off the south coast. The submarine they'll use is following the Garonne, guided by a wire trailing from the stern with a weighted light at its end. Grey cuts this to cause a delay in his opponent's plans but he and Blake are discovered. A bullet hits the Baker Street detective and he falls overboard. Realising that his own position is dire, Grey leaps after him. After more than an hour in the water, Grey sees that the submarine has surfaced. He swims to it and clings to its deck as it powers towards land. Half a mile off shore, he swims to safety. In the morning, Grey paddles a boat to the islands of Saint Pierre, from which he had seen signals flashed during the night. There he bumps into Sexton Blake who, only slightly injured by the bullet, had clung to a lifebuoy and drifted to the islands. He too had seen the signals and believes this to be the spies' base. The two men enter the hideaway, discovering a sophisticated submarine and weapons workshop. There are also deep sea diving suits with built-in air supplies. Grey dons one of these and begins exploring the sea bed outside the workshop hoping to find the submarine docked there. He is attacked by a giant cuttlefish and rescued by the crew of the sub who then take him prisoner. Blake rescues him and the pair make their getaway only to find themselves lost in a thick fog. Eventually they arrive at the threatened port and keep a round-the-clock watch for the Garonne. Blake dons a disguise and takes a message to the vessel. Purportedly from a sympathiser, it recommends the attack to begin immediately as the targets are due to set sail. Grey, in a small canoe, traces the position of the submarine by bubbles rising to the surface. When the sub itself emerges from the deep, he boards it and confronts Gautier. They fight, causing the torpedoes to be accidentally launched. They blow up the Garonne (Blake dives overboard in the nick of time). Their continued struggles then result in the sub diving with its hatch still open. Grey swims free but Gautier is trapped and drowns.
Trivia: Blake states that his swimming limit is a mile and a half. He doesn't much like the idea of diving suits.
Rating: ★★★★★☆ This is great fun even though Maxwell Grey takes the honours as hero rather than Blake, who is demoted to 'sidekick' status.
KING OF DETECTIVES UNION JACK · 1st series · Issue 450 · 6/12/1902 · Amalgamated Press · ½d
THE CONVICT HUNT; OR, SEXTON BLAKE'S TRIUMPH
by Paul Herring · Illustrator: A. White
Other content: The Boys of St. Dunstan's by S. Clarke Hook
Notes: None at present.
Unrated



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