BIBLIOGRAPHY 1917

1916
Master List
1918
PUBLISHING

Blake author Norman Goddard is killed on the French front. A transport driver, he was making his way up the line under heavy fire during the Battle of Vimy Ridge when he was struck down. He died from his wounds on 2nd July aged just 36 and was buried at the Bailleul Comm. Cemetery.
G. H. Teed begins his war service and is absent from the Sexton Blake saga for the next five years. Jack Lewis follows suit but is only away for two years.
The paper shortage starts to bite harder; with issue 31 of THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY seeing the periodical reduced from 120 pages to 96 and issue 33 onwards reducing further to 72 pages.
BLAKE TRIVIA

Sexton Blake has his first encounter with the mysterious Mr. Reece ... a foreshadowing of his epic battle with the Criminals' Confederation. He also makes the acquaintance of a fellow defender of justice in the form of Ferrers Lord.

ISSUES
Traitor and Spy THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 23 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
TRAITOR AND SPY
by Anon. (Arthur Steffens) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 24 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE MAN WITH THE GREEN EYES
by Anon. (Norman Goddard) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: This was Norman Goddard's final story before he was killed in France. The story features George Marsden Plummer.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 25 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE SECRET OF THE DRAKER'S FOLLY; OR, THE MISER'S HOARD
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Count Ivor Carlac and Professor Kew. This was later adapted, with Sexton Blake being replaced by Ferrers Locke, and was published as THE SECRET OF THE TOWER in THE BOYS' FRIEND LIBRARY second series issue 279 (1931).
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 26 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE EMBASSY DETECTIVE
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Basil Wicketshaw and Fenlock Fawn.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 27 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
A CASE OF BLACKMAIL
by Anon. (E. W. Alais) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Captain Horatio Peak.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 28 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
SEXTON BLAKE, SPECIAL CONSTABLE; OR, HIS BROTHER'S CRIME
by Anon. (John W. Bobin) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: When John Langton, the assistant manager of a merchant company, is critically wounded in an accident, his younger brother admits to stealing £100 from the firm and asks Langton to confess to this crime to save him from imprisonment. Langton, believing that he has but hours to live, reluctantly agrees and writes a bogus confession. When Septimus Dempster, the general manager of the company, receives this note, he alters the amount to £10,000 and steals the money for himself, adding it to the huge amount he has already embezzled. When Langton unexpectedly recovers from his injury, he finds that his brother has been killed on the Front and he, John, has been accused of Dempster's crimes. He is committed to a seven year term at Bleakmoor Prison. A year later, he joins forces with Aubrey Dexter, who has been imprisoned for just over nineteen months of a fifteen-year sentence, and they escape. After Langton tells the cracksman his story, the two men part company in London and Langton gives himself up to Sexton Blake. The detective agrees to investigate the case and Langton leaves, escaping from beneath the nose of Detective-Inspector Coutts. Blake tells Tinker to shadow Septimus Dempster. Meanwhile, believing that Dempster is hoarding the stolen money, Dexter pays him a visit at his house. A struggle ensues during which a shot is fired from outside, killing Dempster. This attracts Tinker, who enters the house only to be knocked unconscious by Dexter. Thinking that Sexton Blake is hot on his heels, the crook flees, leaving the money behind. Tinker recovers long enough to summon Blake. He investigates the scene and discovers the hidden loot. Believing that Dexter will return for this, Blake joins the Special Constables who patrol a reservoir behind the house. He is thus able to keep watch and, a few days later, apprehends the ace cracksman as he enters the house. With Dexter captured, Blake investigates further and discovers that the shot that killed Dempster was fired by his disgruntled father-in-law. While he is examining this evidence, Dexter overpowers him and escapes. Dempster's killer is caught, John Langton is declared innocent of all crimes, but Dexter remains at liberty.
Trivia: The governor of Bleakmoor Prison is named Colonel Newlands and he is not on good terms with Sexton Blake. Blake has a private dressing room in Dasset Street off the Strand. This was reprinted under the same title in SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 711 (1940).
Rating: ★★★★★★
The Cat's Paw THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 29 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE CATSPAW; OR, HOUNDED DOWN
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: None
Notes: While returning from the Russian front with a bullet wound in his side, the Hon. John Lawless rescues the governor of Leyford prison from two escaped convicts who attack him and his daughter on a train. Lawless makes off before they can thank him and visits Sexton Blake, who, seeing the condition of his friend, insists that Lawless should rest up. The detective lends him his country cottage in Dorset, which by coincidence is close to Leyford. In that town, Professor Kew and Count Ivor Carlac are plotting to break a prisoner named Melvale out of the prison. He is an ex-bank manager who stole a hoard of jewels from one of his clients. It was never found, but Melvale has made a deal with the two master-crooks — if they get him free, he'll take them to where the money is hidden. Kew and Carlac fool Lawless (who has never met them before) into believing that Melvale is an innocent man, and he rashly agrees to help with their scheme. Impersonating a guard, he liberates the banker only to then find himself knocked unconscious. When he recovers, he's wearing prison garb. Mistaken for the convict, he tries to get away but falls into thorn bushes, which heavily scratch his face. He is taken to the prison hospital where, in Melvale's cap, he finds a map of the Norfolk Broads, with a particular island marked. Kew, Carlac and Melvale have escaped to Norfolk where they are keeping an eye on the escapee's wife, who, they believe, possesses a copy of the map, which shows where Melvale buried the money — he can't remember the location without the map. They find it difficult to approach her, though, because Tinker is also watching. The prison governor and his daughter encounter Sam, who is looking for his master. When Lawless passes in a chain gang, Sam exposes his true identity. Lawless tells his story to the governor and is told to team up with Sexton Blake and catch Melvale within three days. Upon learning that Blake and Lawless are on their way to Norfolk via train, Kew and Carlac switch the points on the track to cause a head on collision. Tinker, on a bridge, sees the two locomotives heading for each other and jumps into the coal tender of one, giving a warning blast on its whistle, bringing it to a halt, and saving the day. Blake and Lawless pursue the criminals into the Norfolk Broads but, after a pitched fight, Kew, Carlac and Melvale get away. They make it to the island and retrieve the jewels. Blake follows but the crooks set the reeds on fire and he only just escapes. The villainous trio start to make their escape in a powered canoe but Melvale betrays Carlac and Kew by pitching them overboard. Lawless and Blake give chase in a motorboat but are stopped by the river police who inform them that the channel ahead is mined. Melvale is blown up and the jewels are recovered. The fate of Carlac and Kew remains a mystery.
Trivia: This was reprinted as THE SECRET OF THE MISSING CONVICT in THE BOYS' FRIEND LIBRARY 2nd series issue 698 (1939).
Rating: ★★★★★★
THE THREE TRAILS THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 30 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE THREE TRAILS; OR, THE MYSTERY OF GREY GABLES
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: A Sportsman to the Core by Anon.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 31 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
CRAFT AND CUNNING
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Ten Years After THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 32 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
TEN YEARS AFTER
by Anon. (John W. Bobin) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The House with the Double Moat THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 33 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE HOUSE WITH THE DOUBLE MOAT; OR, THE TATTOOED MAN
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 34 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE BLOCKADE RUNNERS
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 35 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE HALF-CASTE
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Hon. John Lawless.
Unrated
THE PERILS OF PETROGRAD THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 36 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE PERILS OF PETROGRAD
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Greenhorn by Anon.
Notes: This story has in the past been attributed to Andrew Murray but the style of W. M. Graydon is unmistakable.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 37 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE DIAMOND SUNBURST
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Mlle. Yvonne Cartier.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 38 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
VENGEANCE
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Hon. John Lawless.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 39 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
A LEGACY OF SHAME
by Anon. (John W. Bobin) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Broadway Kate.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 40 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE SECRET OF THE PAST
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 41 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE MYSTERIOUS MR. REECE
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: While staying at the Hotel Royalty in Brighton, Dirk Dolland aka The Bat is attracted to a young woman who later interrupts him as he's burglarising the rooms of rich patrons. She allows him to go free providing he leaves his ill-gotten gains behind to be returned to their rightful owners. The Bat concedes, departs, but later learns that the loot was never handed over. He accosts the woman on the London-bound train. She introduces herself as a fellow thief, Mademoiselle Miquet aka The Butterfly and offers him a partnership. He agrees to it. Their first dual mission is to steal a valuable necklace from the safe of a barrister named Harley Dene. Unknown to them, this man is currently prosecuting a forger and embezzler named James Bryce and has Sexton Blake as his chief witness. While cracking the safe, Dolland is interrupted by another intruder who, unknown to him, has been sent by a villainous mastermind named Mr. Reece to steal the evidence against Bryce. Dolland knocks the man cold and makes his getaway. Reece's minion is then arrested by the police. Reece kills Dene and a second man who was set to testify, then kidnaps the Butterfly and will only release her if Dolland returns to Dene's office to get the evidence. He gives the Bat a day to decide. Dolland arranges a truce with Sexton Blake and tells the detective the whole story. Blake, disguised as Dolland, meets with Reece — who is seen only as a shadow against a screen — and agrees to steal the papers. Having thus discovered Reece’s hideout, he arranges that Scotland Yard should raid it while he’s handing over the documents. Unfortunately, plans go awry when his disguise is pierced and the villains are alerted that the police are on their doorstep. The lights go out and, as Detective Inspector Coutts leads his men in, Reece and his gang escape through a trapdoor, board a boat, and row out to a barge on the Thames. Tinker, however, has followed, and returns to tell Blake. When the barge is boarded, Reece's men dive overboard and swim away. Reece himself is discovered to be nothing more than a tailor's dummy. The Butterfly is found and rescued but the crooks have all escaped.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 42 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE BLACK BAT
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 43 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE CASE OF THE INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURER; OR, AN INNOCENT ACCOMPLICE
by Anon. (John W. Bobin) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Broadway Kate, Glory Gale and Aubrey Dexter.
Unrated
Where the Trail Ended THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 44 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
WHERE THE TRAIL ENDED; OR, THE SHADOW ON GREY TOWERS
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Fenlock Fawn.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 45 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
THE BARRIER REEF MYSTERY
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Hon. John Lawless. It was later adapted as a non-Blake tale (he was replaced by Ferrers Locke) and appeared as THE SECRET OF THE REEF in THE BOYS' FRIEND LIBRARY second series issue 366 (1933).
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 46 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 3d
WHEN CONSCIENCE SLEEPS
by Anon. (William J. Bayfield) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Mark of the Thumb UNION JACK · New series · Issue 691 · 6/1/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE MARK OF THE THUMB
by Anon. (W. J. Bayfield) · Illustrator: E. E. Briscoe
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 692 · 13/1/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE SUNKEN SCHOONER; OR, JOHN BAXTERS SECRET
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Val Reading
Other content: The Sea Waif by David Goodwin
Notes: Story features Mlle. Yvonne Cartier and Dr. Huxton Rymer. My copy is lacking a cover.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 693 · 20/1/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE CLUE OF THE BOWLER HAT; OR, THE VENGEANCE OF TOM GOLDING
by Anon. (J. W. Bobin) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: The Sea Waif by David Goodwin
Notes: My copy is missing the cover.
Unrated
The Lost Journalist UNION JACK · New series · Issue 694 · 27/1/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE LOST JOURNALIST
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Harry Lane
Other content: The Sea-Waif by David Gordon
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 695 · 3/2/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING MANAGER
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Sea Waif by David Goodwin.
Notes: My copy is missing the cover.
Unrated
The Treasure of Sonora UNION JACK · New series · Issue 696 · 10/2/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE TREASURE OF SONORA; OR, THE GOLD CACHÉ
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: None
Notes: Story features Sir Richard Losely and Lobangu.
Unrated
The Broken Span UNION JACK · New series · Issue 697 · 17/2/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE BROKEN SPAN
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Sea-Waif by David Goodwin
Notes: Story features Jim Potter.
Unrated
A Case of Arson UNION JACK · New series · Issue 698 · 24/2/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
A CASE OF ARSON; OR, THE GREAT INSURANCE FRAUD
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Sea-Waif by David Goodwin
Notes: While in an illicit gambling den, Dirk Dolland aka The Bat learns that an American railroad tycoon named Cyrus C. Crag wishes to buy a painting, the Corottzi Venus, from Colonel Eustace Roden. The Colonel refuses to sell despite being offered £100,000. It just so happens that Dolland is currently illegally occupying a property just four houses away from Roden which belongs to Bernard Mellish, a man currently in New York. Dolland shares the residence with three criminals: Nicholas Mark, a forger; Brandon Delmas, a crooked lawyer; and Dr. Stephen Stone, a drug-addicted medical man. The four crooks invade Roden's premises and keep him and his servant prisoner upstairs. Dolland, in the guise of Mellish, visits an insurance agent and uses forged documents to insure the Mellish house and the painting for a £110,000. He then makes himself up as the Colonel and sells the painting to Crag. A few weeks later the Mellish residence, supposedly with the painting inside, is burned to the ground and the insurance is paid. When the real Mellish is found to be abroad, Sexton Blake is called in. He goes to interview Colonel Roden, arriving at the same time as Detective-Inspector Coutts who has received an anonymous telegram instructing him to search the house. They find the Colonel and his servant tied up. When Roden discovers that his painting has gone, he explodes with anger. But then Cyrus Crag arrives and accuses the Colonel of selling him a fake. Blake begins to unravel the swindle; his investigation leads to Paris but there he falls into the hands of the gang. Unknown to The Bat, Delmas places the detective into a chamber which slowly fills with water. At the last moment before he drowns, Blake is rescued by Dolland. In return, he allows the gentleman thief to escape while the rest of the gang are rounded up.
Rating: ★★★★★★
The Stolen Factory UNION JACK · New series · Issue 699 · 3/3/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE STOLEN FACTORY
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: The Sea-Waif by David Goodwin
Notes: A man goes missing the day before he was due to bid for a factory located in the African town of Folloko. His fiancé asks Hon. John Lawless for help. Lawless begins his investigation by attending the auction on the man's behalf. There, he drives up the bidding, making a man named Jansen pay many thousands of pounds over the expected price. He then sees to it that the papers granting Jansen ownership are delayed, and while Jansen is cooling his heels, Lawless travels to Africa with Sam and impersonates him, taking possession of the factory. Meanwhile, Jansen hires Sexton Blake to look into the matter of the papers. The detective surmises that his client is being impersonated and travels to Folloko to find out who by. Joining forces with Lawless, he searches the factory but finds nothing suspicious, apart from the fact that an Arab trader is hanging around. This man, recognising that Lawless is not who he says he is, captures Blake. Lawless is then ousted by the arrival of the real Jansen. The adventurer infiltrates the Arabic camp, frees Blake, and tricks its leader into acting too soon. Jansen delivers to the trader an illegal shipment of rubber—which had been cleverly hidden in the factory—bound for Germany. Blake leads an attack against the caravan, and the Arabs and Jansen are caught red handed
Rating: ★★★★★☆
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 700 · 10/3/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
SEXTON BLAKE IN ARMENIA
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 701 · 17/3/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE BLACK RAT
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Mlle. Yvonne Cartier and The Black Rat.
Unrated
The Typewritten Clue UNION JACK · New series · Issue 702 · 24/3/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE TYPEWRITTEN CLUE
by Anon. (W. J. Bayfield) · Illustrator: E. E. Briscoe
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Emerald Necklace UNION JACK · New series · Issue 703 · 31/3/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE EMERALD NECKLACE; OR, A MARKED MAN
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Wrestling Champion by T. C. Hall; The Aristocrat of the School by Andrew Gray and Ambrose Earle
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Mystery of Cell Six UNION JACK · New series · Issue 704 · 7/4/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE MYSTERY OF CELL SIX; OR, THE MAN WITH THREE LIVES
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: The Aristocrat of the School by Andrew Gray and Ambrose Earle
Notes: Celebrated Scotland Yard man Detective-Inspector John Venn is not all he seems. In fact, he has three identities, each supported by clever disguises. As Venn, he has won the respect and admiration of his fellow officers and of Sir Henry Fairfax. As diamond merchant James Venables, he has accrued a fortune and lives a life of luxury. And as 'The Master', he moves freely among the very worst criminals of society. His gang are unaware of his other identities nor do they realise that he is cheating them by acting as a fence for their stolen goods but paying them far less than he actually receives. Joe Devine — aka The Chemist — is suspicious, though, and at a gang meeting he declares that there's a traitor in their midst. Venn ridicules this idea and the meeting breaks up. He goes to one of his hideaways where he begins to change his disguise only to find himself confronted by Devine, who has followed him. Desperately, he overpowers the crook, drugs him, arrests him and takes him to a police station. It so happens that Sexton Blake is there with Detective-Inspector Coutts and they are instantly puzzled by the prisoner's confusion condition. Venn takes Devine to a cell and returns after locking him in. Some minutes later, a constable discovers that Devine has been stabbed in the chest. Everyone rushes to the cell, just in time to hear the crook say "The Master ... the Master ... ven ... ven!" before dying. Venn suggests that 'vengeance' may have been what the dying man had been trying to say. Back at Baker Street, Blake receives a tip-off and, acting upon it, he disguises himself and goes to The Crooked Compass — the inn where The Master's gang meet. There he is caught spying, knocked out and thrown into the River Thames. He is rescued by Larry Boss and taken to a barge where his disguise is removed. Boss admits that it was he who tipped him off about The Crooked Compass, motivated by his suspicion that The Master is betraying crooks to the police once they have outlived their usefulness. He also reveals that he shadowed the gang leader to John Venn's house and tells Blake that the next gang meeting is due the following night. In the morning, Blake breaks into Venn's flat and finds the Scotland Yard man's collection of disguises, including the one with which he transforms himself into The Master. Blake summons Coutts to arrange a raid on The Crooked Compass only to be informed that Venn has already planned one. The police action goes ahead, with The Master betraying his gang by locking them in a cellar after slipping from the room and quick-changing back into his Venn identity. He discards his criminal disguise but it is recovered by Larry Boss who arrives with Sexton Blake. Venn is confronted and accused but he runs for it and makes his getaway in the guise of John Venables.
Trivia: John Venn reappears in THE TWO IMPERSONATORS (UNION JACK issue 709, 1917), teaming up with Dirk Dolland. Larry Boss also appears in that story ... and takes vengeance on Venn.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
The Mystery of Fallow Side Farm UNION JACK · New series · Issue 705 · 14/4/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE MYSTERY OF FALLOW SIDE FARM; OR, SEXTON BLAKE — FOOD GROWER
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: G. M. Dodshon
Other content: The Aristocrat of the School by Andrew Gray and Ambrose Earle
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Crest of the Flood UNION JACK · New series · Issue 706 · 21/4/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE CREST OF THE FLOOD
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Val Reading
Other content: The Aristocrat of the School by Andrew Gray and Ambrose Earle
Notes: Story features Mlle. Yvonne Cartier.
Unrated
The Opium Smugglers UNION JACK · New series · Issue 707 · 28/4/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE OPIUM SMUGGLERS
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: A Fellow of His Word by Anon.; The Aristocrat of the School by Andrew Gray and Ambrose Earle
Notes: Story features The Black Rat.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 708 · 5/5/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE GRIMSDALE ABBEY AFFAIR
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: None
Notes: My copy is missing the cover. Story features Humble Begge.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 709 · 12/5/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE TWO IMPERSONATORS
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Aboard the transatlantic liner The Megantic, Dirk Dolland aka The Bat is travelling under an assumed name, as is crooked ex-Scotland Yard man John Venn. The ship hits an iceberg and sinks in a massive storm, and the two men are the lone survivors. However, when they are picked up by a passing vessel, they adopt the identities of two of the disaster's victims; Venn becomes Dexter C. Pooler, an American millionaire and steel magnate, and Dolland masquerades as his private secretary, William Brent. They are landed at Liverpool and immediately travel to London to put up at the Hotel Argent. Avoiding the over-eager newspaper reporters, they begin spending the millionaire's money before then meeting with an inventor named Cedric Fray who has invented a new explosive which the real Pooler had been hoping to buy. But they have a shock: when Fray arrives at the hotel, he is accompanied by Sexton Blake! Fray has hired Blake to protect him from German agents who are known to be after the formula to the explosive. The detective doesn't see through the crooks' disguises and the meeting proceeds, with Fray explaining the nature of his invention and showing the formula. However, shortly after a waiter delivers some wine, the paper on which the formula is written is found to have vanished. A search reveals nothing. On his way back to Baker Street, Blake is set upon by three men who are then driven off by a police constable. He takes his bowler hat, which was damaged during the struggle, to be repaired. He then goes home. During the night, he is awoken by an intruder who, unseen, makes a rapid getaway. Nothing has been stolen but Blake's hats are all laid out in a row. The next morning another attempt is made to get his hat and the detective realises that the hotel waiter had taken the formula and hidden it in the lining of his bowler. Blake rushes to his hatter, recovers the paper and arrests the waiter. He then drives out to Fray's country estate to return the formula. There, he finds that Pooler and Brent are visiting to see a demonstration of the explosive. Pooler, though, has gone missing. Blake traces the millionaire's footprints to the edge of a lake. Pooler's dead body is found beneath the water — he has been murdered! The Bat, upon learning this, decides to abandon his masquerade and makes a quick getaway in his car. Blake, still believing him to be Brent, speeds after him but crashes while trying to avoid a man in the road and plunges unconscious into a river. Dolland saves him and leaves a note which the detective reads when he recovers his senses. It reveals that Poole was John Venn and that Brent was Dirk Dolland. It also tells Blake that Dolland had nothing to do with Venn's death. The man Blake tried to avoid in the road had been clipped by his car and is at the roadside with a broken leg. The detective recognises him as Larry Boss, one of the gang members Venn had betrayed (in THE MYSTERY OF CELL SIX, UNION JACK issue 704, 1917). The crook confesses to the murder of Venn, having recognised him and followed him to Fray's estate.
Rating: ★★★★☆☆
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 710 · 19/5/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
AT THE FULL OF THE MOON
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Sexton Blake is in South Africa when he stumbles across a clue relating to an unsolved case; the disappearance of a wealthy young man named John Thorndyke. This puts him on the trail of a beautiful half-caste woman, Marie Galante, and leads to Haiti, where he introduces himself to her in the guise of a millionaire called John Carter. Tinker, after receiving a cable from his guv'nor, sails to the island and finds Blake seemingly under the spell of the strange woman. And, in fact, the detective is indeed struggling to resist Galante's hypnotic power. Tinker also learns that Galante rules over the mysterious interior of the island, where it is rumoured that secret voodoo rites take place at the full of the moon. When her suspicions are aroused by his snooping, Galante organises a riot to distract Blake and, under its cover, has Tinker taken captive. However, her sense of power is shaken when a local inn-keeper, Bob Kidd, reveals that he is her father. Riding into the interior, she meets with her mother, who had abandoned Kidd many years ago, and they make their plans for the forthcoming rites, which will occur with Tinker as the unwilling focus. Meanwhile, Blake, who has been searching for his assistant, is contacted by Kidd, who reveals to him the extent of Galante's hold over the island. Together, they plot her downfall. That afternoon, Galante leads Blake into the jungle. As they progress towards the interior, he leaves a trail for Kidd and a beachcomber named Murphy to follow. The two men track Galante to a natural amphitheatre at the centre of the island and arrive just in time to witness a terrible voodoo ceremony. Tinker has been suspended from a scaffold over a fire and is being swung back and forth through the flames while Blake, bound to a tree, looks on helplessly. Amid throbbing drums and wild dancing, Kidd leaps upon his daughter and threatens her with a poisonous snake. She orders the gathered throng away and both Tinker and Blake are released. Suddenly, a wild figure bursts from the jungle and attacks and kills Galante's mother. It is John Thorndyke, driven mad by months of torture. Released from her mother's hypnotic hold, Marie Galante seems to change. Kidd, it appears, has regained his lost daughter.
Trivia: Blake uses the pseudonym John Carter.
Rating: ★★★★★★
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 711 · 26/5/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE GREAT OFFICE MYSTERY
by Anon. (Jack Lewis) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Aristocrat of the School by Andrew Gray and Ambrose Earle
Notes: My copy is missing the cover. Story features Leon Kestrel.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 712 · 2/6/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
A CASE OF EXTRADITION
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Val Reading
Other content: The Aristocrat of the School by Andrew Gray and Ambrose Earle
Notes: Story features The Black Rat.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 713 · 9/6/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE MYSTERY OF DEAD TREE HILL
by Anon. (W. J. Bayfield) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Three Millionaires UNION JACK · New series · Issue 714 · 16/6/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE THREE MILLIONAIRES; OR, CAUGHT NAPPING
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: The Aristocrat of the School by Andrew Gray and Ambrose Earle
Notes: Story features Mlle. Yvonne Cartier.
Unrated
Uncut Diamonds UNION JACK · New series · Issue 715 · 23/6/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
UNCUT DIAMONDS; OR, THE RETURN OF THE BLACK RAT
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Val Reading
Other content: The Aristocrat of the School by Andrew Gray and Ambrose Earle
Notes: Story features Camille Despard and The Black Rat.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 716 · 30/6/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE CASE OF THE £20,000 WITNESS
by Anon. (J. W. Bobin) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: On the run from the British police, Aubrey Dexter has ended up in Brazil, where he's taken a post as clerk in a small gold-mining concern. This is run by a couple of shady financiers named Julius Rathbone and James Kerney. Dexter's plans involve little more than robbery ... but when he finally gets the opportunity to crack the company safe, he is interrupted by a midnight meeting between the two owners and their mine manager, Carlos Gomez. Spying on the proceedings, Dexter learns that the men are planning to swindle their investors but are facing a potential problem in the shape of a mine inspector named Lance Willmott. This man, currently on his way to the mine, will discover that their recent — and productive — digs have actually been on a rival company's land. Rathbone and Kerney can think of only one solution: to kidnap Willmott and replace him with an impostor. At this point, Dexter reveals himself and offers his services in return for £20,000. It is agreed and the plan goes ahead: Willmott is captured and held by local tribesmen while Dexter replaces him. Some weeks later, the owner of the rival mine, Sir Royston Anstruther, visits Sexton Blake and asks him to investigate why Willmott is supporting Rathbone and Kerney's claim when it is so obviously illegal. Furthermore, he wants to know why Willmott, who has returned to England, is refusing to see his fiancé, Sir Royston's ward, Miss O'Connor. When Tinker encounters a dumb and illiterate man named Pete who had been Willmott's assistant, the detective gains further information and realises that someone is masquerading as the mining expert. He decides to go to Brazil and is accompanied by Tinker, Detective-Inspector Martin, Pedro and Pete. With Pedro's tracking ability, he is able to trace the real Willmott and release him from captivity. The freed man then examines the mines and finds evidence that Rathbone and Kerney have been mining their competitor's land. When the two crooked financiers, along with Gomez and Dexter, arrive back in Brazil aboard a liner, Blake and his allies swoop and make the arrests. Aubrey Dexter is finally caught!
Trivia: Detective-Inspector Martin lives in Sydenham. His doctors have ordered him to rest in order to prevent a nervous breakdown.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
Twice Charged UNION JACK · New series · Issue 717 · 7/7/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
TWICE CHARGED
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Case of the Lorimer Twins UNION JACK · New series · Issue 718 · 14/7/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE CASE OF THE LORIMER TWINS; OR, A MILLION DOLLARS RANSOM
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Val Reading
Other content: The Aristocrat of the School by Andrew Gray and Ambrose Earle.
Notes: Story features Camille Despard and The Black Rat.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 719 · 21/7/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
ON THE NIGHT OF THE STORM
by Anon. (E. J. Murray) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 720 · 28/7/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
'TWIXT SUNSET AND DAWN
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Thumbnail Clue UNION JACK · New series · Issue 721 · 4/8/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE THUMBNAIL CLUE
by Anon. (E. W. Alais) · Illustrator: Val Reading
Other content: The Aristocrat of the School by Andrew Gray and Ambrose Earle.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 722 · 11/8/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE CASE OF REINCARNATION
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Val Reading
Other content: The Aristocrat of the School by Andrew Gray and Ambrose Earle.
Notes: Raised by The Order of Ra to believe that he is the reincarnation of the twin brother of a Pharaoh who had banished the cult, Prince Menes is known as The Man From Everywhere. Ten thousand years ago, in the days of Ancient Egypt, his predecessor had been betrayed by ten men. For the first time since then, all ten are incarnate at the same time. Prince Menes intends to wreak revenge on each of them before then resurrecting the long-dead empire. His first intended victim is Lord Roncote, a shipping magnate who is currently speculating on the stock market. Menes plants a spy named Walford in Roncote's organisation. When company secrets are leaked, the millionaire hires Sexton Blake to investigate but the detective realises that information is being withheld from him and so approaches the case with great reluctance. Menes lays a financial trap which Roncote falls into. Attempting to avoid the total collapse of his company, Roncote commits a crime but then confesses all to Blake. The detective, knowing that many innocent people will suffer if Roncote is ruined, sets in motion a sequence of events which counteract the manipulations of Menes. Roncote is saved but Blake forces him to retire and compensate those who depend on him. He then sets out to track down Menes (though he doesn't yet know his opponent's true identity) but finds that he has left the country.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 723 · 18/8/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE SECRET HAND
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Wayward politician Vickers Matheson is being influenced by his wife in matters relating to British interests in Egypt. Formerly known as Baroness Lamaine, his wife murdered her former husband and has an unquenchable thirst for power. She also harbours an irrational hatred for Egypt which, unknown to her, originates in a former lifetime when she was a priestess of Ra and a betrayer of Prince Menes. Menes, in his current incarnation as The Man From Everywhere, sets out to exact revenge. Visiting Mrs Matheson in the guise of Count Gardici, he hypnotises her and records her confession of her murderous past. He then forces her to steal papers from her husband's safe. With these in his possession, Menes can undermine political moves relating to Egypt and can even force a general election. Sexton Blake is asked by Vickers Matheson to investigate the theft. He uses an arteriometer (an early lie detector) while questioning Mrs Matheson and this reveals that she took the documents. He sets Tinker on her trail and the lad follows her to Menes' house where he is spotted and captured. Menes, meanwhile, informs Mrs Matheson that her past will be exposed. This breaks her spirit and she becomes hysterical and then incurably insane (she dies six months after this tale). Blake calls upon Menes and demands the return of the papers. Menes, upon learning that Blake will not allow Matheson to use the information they contain, hands them over. He also liberates Tinker but warns Blake to stay out of his affairs.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
When Rogues Fall Out UNION JACK · New series · Issue 724 · 25/8/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
WHEN ROGUES FALL OUT!
by Anon. (E. J. Murray) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Aristocrat of the School by Andrew Gray and Ambrose Earle.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
When Greek Meets Greek UNION JACK · New series · Issue 725 · 1/9/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
WHEN GREEK MEETS GREEK
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: E. E. Briscoe
Other content: None
Notes: Story features Humble Begge.
Unrated
The Riddle of Yew Hollow UNION JACK · New series · Issue 726 · 8/9/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE RIDDLE OF YEW HOLLOW
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks) · Illustrator: D. M. Dodshon
Other content: None
Notes: No.2 of Tinker's "Case-Diary" series.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 727 · 15/9/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE PEARLS OF SILENCE
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Unknown
IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN (part 1)
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Other content: Unknown
Notes: main story features Wu Fong. The serial is a story of Sir Richard Losely and Lobangu. Blake and Tinker feature in the final chapters.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 728 · 22/9/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE CASE OF THE CRIMSON TERROR
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Unknown
IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN (part 2)
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Prince Menes.
Unrated
The Valley of Crags UNION JACK · New series · Issue 729 · 29/9/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE VALLEY OF CRAGS
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: None
Notes: No.3 of Tinker's "Case-Diary" series. When Roger Leverton's house is broken into by thieves, his papers are left scattered over the floor. Among them is a letter to Harvey Dorrington which isn't meant to be sent until after Leverton's death. But after tidying up, Leverton's secretary inadvertently posts it. Ordered to Dorrington's house to recover the missive, the secretary leaps through a window and snatches it out of the young man's hand just as he's about to read it. A struggle ensues and Dorrington is stabbed in the shoulder. Thinking he's killed him, the secretary panics and runs, dropping the letter. Dorrington manages to call Sexton Blake before passing out. The detective finds the letter and tends to Dorrington's wounds before reading it. It's a 'death bed confession' in which Leverton reveals that his stepdaughter, Joyce Maitland, who has been missing for a year, is being held prisoner in a remote valley hidden in the Rocky Mountains of Montana to prevent her from marrying Dorrington. Blake, Tinker and Dorrington set out on a rescue mission but Leverton has sent a message ahead and the trio is captured by Lean-Jaw Luke and his gang. They are left tied up in a hut in the shadows of the Rockies while the Luke gang heads off to move Joyce to another hiding place. Rescued by Pedro, Blake and co. set off in pursuit. Journeying by canoe through a narrow canyon into the Valley of Crags, they find Joyce in a small house and sneak her away. The Lean-Jaw Luke gang gives chase but their canoe is capsized by a trap set by Blake. Outside the canyon, Leverton is waiting. His attempt to attack the detective backfires and he accidentally shoots himself. As he dies, he confesses that he was trying to fake Joyce's death so that he'd inherit the fortune left to her by her mother.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆ A bit of a slight tale but one that sticks in the memory thanks to the wonderfully evocative canoe journey into the Valley of Crags. Brooks was a master of this sort of description and it shows here; the darkness, the echoes, the unknown lying just ahead; you really feel like you're there.
The Case of the Uncensored Letter UNION JACK · New series · Issue 730 · 6/10/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE CASE OF THE UNCENSORED LETTER; OR, UNTRUE TO HIS TRUST
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN (part 3)
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 731 · 13/10/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE INVISIBLE RAY
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Unknown
IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN (part 4)
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Prince Menes.
Unrated
The Strange Case of the Red Pocket Book UNION JACK · New series · Issue 732 · 20/10/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE STRANGE CASE OF THE RED POCKET BOOK; OR, THE MYSTERY OF DR. OTTO SCHLENG
by Anon. (W. J. Bayfield) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Secret of the Third Panel UNION JACK · New series · Issue 733 · 27/10/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE SECRET OF THE THIRD PANEL; OR, THE CLUE OF THE CAMEO
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks) · Illustrator: Unknown
IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN (part 5)
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Other content: None
Notes: Another adventure from Tinker's Case Diary.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 734 · 3/11/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE BROKEN BAIL
by Anon. (J. W. Bobin) · Illustrator: Unknown
IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN (part 6)
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Aubrey Dexter.
Unrated
The Heir of Quarterlands UNION JACK · New series · Issue 735 · 10/11/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE HEIR OF QUARTERLANDS
by Anon. (W. J. Bayfield) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN (part 7)
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Ordeal of Gordon Wood UNION JACK · New series · Issue 736 · 17/11/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE ORDEAL OF GORDON WOOD
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN (part 8)
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet UNION JACK · New series · Issue 737 · 24/11/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE PEARL OF THE TREHERNES
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: None
Notes: Christmas double issue. My copy is lacking a cover.
Unrated
Run to Earth UNION JACK · New series · Issue 738 · 1/12/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
RUN TO EARTH; OR, DETECTIVES IN HIDING
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter) · Illustrator: Vine
IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN (part 9)
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Case of the £10,000 Fee UNION JACK · New series · Issue 739 · 8/12/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE CASE OF THE £10,000 FEE; OR, THE SHIPOWNER'S VENGEANCE
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: Unknown
IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN (part 10)
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Other content: None
Notes: Story features Hon. John Lawless.
Unrated
The Amazing Affair of the Brixton Burglary UNION JACK · New series · Issue 740 · 15/12/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE AMAZING AFFAIR OF THE BRIXTON BURGLARY
by Anon. (J. W. Bobin) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN (part 11)
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
A Gamble for a Life UNION JACK · New series · Issue 741 · 22/12/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
A GAMBLE FOR A LIFE; OR, THE CASE OF COUNT LUXBURG
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN (part 12)
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Case of the Two Financiers UNION JACK · New series · Issue 742 · 29/12/1917 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE CASE OF THE TWO FINANCIERS; OR, THE MYSTERY MILLIONAIRE
by Anon. (E. J. Murray) · Illustrator: Val Reading
IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN (part 13)
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Other content: None
Notes: Mortimer Daynham and Michael Vengray are financiers who, beneath a veneer of philanthropy, are merciless profiteers taking full advantage of wartime shortages. One night, at Daynham's Mansion, a caller is admitted to the hall by the valet. While he is being announced, this man binds and gags the footman before disappearing into the house. It is searched but he isn't found. Later, a man is seen fleeing. There are signs that a second man may have also been present. The strong-room is found open but nothing has been stolen. Daynham asks Sexton Blake to investigate. Despite distrusting him at first sight, Blake accepts the case. The strong-room, he concludes, could only have been opened by an expert safe-cracker named Ballinder. This man has recently been unexpectedly freed from prison by the Home Secretary. The detective sets off back to London to find out why. Tinker, meanwhile, discovers a trail of footprints leading across the roof of the manor to a rope. He takes hold of it and is inching down a sloped section of the roof when a bearded man emerges from a skylight and, unaware of the lad, gives to rope a jerk. Tinker falls and lands in a water tank. He is rescued by the bearded man but loses consciousness. When he recovers, he finds himself in bed in a comfortable room; held prisoner by the kindly Prout (the bearded man) and O'Rooney. The next day, the man who had invaded the house the previous night calls on Daynham and Vengray. He is Ferrers Lord — a man widely known as the 'Mad Millionaire.' Lord reveals that he took photographs of documents in the strong-room which expose the two men as the scoundrels they are. He will expose them unless they donate their fortunes to the war effort. But as Lord turns to leave, Vengray knocks him out. By now, Sexton Blake has realised that Tinker is missing and returns to the manor with Pedro to search for him. Instead of finding his assistant, Blake discovers the unconscious body of Ferrers Lord. Nursed back to health, Lord telephones Prout and asks him to bring Tinker. He then tells of Daynham and Vengray's treachery. Days later, Daynham summons Blake and attempts to dismiss him from the case but the detective indicates that he intends to continue his investigation. That night, the two financiers begin to pack, ready to flee the country. Blake and Lord raid the mansion. While attempting to escape, Daynham falls from the roof and breaks his neck. Vengray is captured and imprisoned.
Trivia: Edgar J. Murray (better known by his pseudonym of Sydney Drew) introduced Ferrers Lord in WOLVES OF THE DEEP (Boys' Friend Library issue 32, 1907). Lord was the millionaire inventor of two vast submarines - the Victoria and the Britannia — which he used to right wrongs and to keep Britain ruling the waves. He starred in a number of subsequent adventures, some of which featured Prout and O'Rooney.
Rating: ★★★★☆☆



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