Saturday 30 November 2013

The Admiral - short story by S.B.H. Hurst

An interesting short story set in India (and it mentions some places I've lived in), from the pages of Adventure, November 30, 1925. S.B.H. Hurst, the author, had visited India earlier as a sailor and the local color is correct.

The Admiral - short story by S.B.H. Hurst
The Admiral - short story by S.B.H. Hurst

Download the story here.

Friday 22 November 2013

Sea Kickup Elephants - fact article by Claude W. Bostock

This story originally appeared in the May 1, 1935 issue of Adventure. Claude W. Bostock (1891-1970), the author, was a member of the Bostock family that ran the Bostock and Wombwell menagerie.

It's about shipping elephants trans-atlantic and the insurance problems arising from that.

Mr. Reginald Smithers insured a shipment of elephants; then the radiograms began—“got ice one elephant big catchem cold.” 
Claude W. Bostock - Sea Kickup Elephants - May 1, 1935, Adventure

I found it amusing. You can read the story here.

Friday 15 November 2013

Compound Interest - short story by Hugh Pendexter

Here's a funny story from Hugh Pendexter that originally appeared in the March 15, 1933 issue of Adventure. This is the story that prompted me to find out more about Pendexter and start the blog.

Justice can be delayed, but not denied - as a railway lawyer finds out.

Download the story here.

Saturday 9 November 2013

Off-trail e-book recommendation: Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household

Readers of this blog will enjoy the thriller Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household. It's one of the best thrillers/adventure stories I have read, and the best in the pursuit thriller sub-genre.

The book is based on an premise that many of us might have wondered about: What if someone assassinated Hitler before he came into his full power as a destructive force? The assassin fails and becomes the hunted in a deadly game, with the suspense reaching an unendurable level as the story nears its end.

Available only today as a daily deal e-book for $1.99 from Amazon:


Some reviews here:


The Guardian

Friday 8 November 2013

Of Deadly Weapons - a Caradosso short story by F.R. Buckley

This short story by F.R. Buckley appeared in the April, 1947 issue of Adventure. I like this series very much and this is a typical entry - Caradosso offers advice to the new Duke about an alchemist who is selling the duke a super-explosive. As usual, Caradosso has his tongue firmly in cheek and his hand out asking for a favor while managing to mock the Duke and the alchemist.

Download the story here.

Saturday 2 November 2013

Complete Index of Adventure, Blue Book magazines now online at Fictionmags

Included are:

A complete index to Adventure, courtesy of Richard Bleiler who allowed us to use the index he published some years ago.

A complete index to Blue Book Magazine, courtesy of Mike Ashley, Victor Berch & Gene Christie who allowed us to use the unpublished index they compiled between them.

An index to over 900 of the 1114 issues of Short Story Magazine, including all issues from 1922 to the end of the run.

An index to over 1800 issues of Argosy, including almost 600 issues of the "pre-pulp" period, over 1000 issues of the "pulp" period and 250 issues of the "post-pulp" period, as well as a complete index to the British magazine of the same name.

A complete index to Munsey's Magazine.

A complete index to The Cavalier [1908] from the unpublished work of William J. Clark.

An index to the fiction contents of over 600 of the 782 issues of Railroad (Man's) Magazine.

A complete index to the Saturday Evening Post from 1899 to the end of the original run in 1969, courtesy of Mark Owings and Martin Morse Wooster.

All this and MUCH MUCH more at the updated FictionMags Index site.

A month of stories from Adventure magazine

This is going to be a month of stories from Adventure, with one story appearing each week. The stories should give a good flavor of Adventure across the decades:

Issue Date
Of Deadly Weapons
April, 1947
A Caradosso short story
Compound Interest
March 15, 1933
Pendexter in a humorous vein
Sea Kickup Elephants
Claude W. Bostock
May 1, 1935
Insurance wrangles
The Admiral
November 30, 1925
An Indian fisherman plays his part in World War 1

Enjoy and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Friday 1 November 2013

Barry Scobee - Auto-biography in Campfire – Adventure, November 8, 1926

Barry Scobee
Barry Scobee (Photo courtesy Archives of the Big Bend, Bryan Wildenthal Memorial
Library, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas)

AT OUR last meeting we inaugurated the new custom of having the biography of one of our writers at the end of each “Camp-Fire,” so that all readers may come to know personally our old writers as well as those who join us as we go along. This time it’s Barry Scobee.
MR. SCOBEE is an old-timer on Adventure. He is also a down-trodden, luckless man; we have his word for it. He says nothing ever happens to him. When he first wrote for us, back in 1919, he was particularly plaintive about his luck. Here’s what he said then:

“Here’s my luck. I was an attendant in a Keely Cure institute once. No, I wasn’t working my way through. Staying in a room one night to watch a dopey, I was awakened from profound sleep by him standing over me brandishing a razor and a revolver and calling me the man who had run away with his wife. But nothing happened. He forgot me and went to shout out of the window at some woman he insanely took for his wife. I and another man drove an old tin car through the guard into a besieged town once, that being the only available way of getting in. We were taken before the general, who threatened to shoot us. But nothing happened. In an hour we were sipping cognac with the American Consul. I was taking a man to military prison once in the Philippines, on a small steamer, and lost my gun. But nothing happened. The prisoner found it and returned it to me. I have been deer hunting and bob-cat hunting in exceedingly wild country. But nothing happened. The other men got the game. I helped to go to the source of the greatest lost gold-mine story that ever tempted the Southwest. Nothing happened. There wasn’t any mine.”
“Now all that isn’t any laughable matter, believe me. It means that when I concoct a piece of fiction I’ve got to slave like a printer’s devil to work up a climax!”

Mr. Scobee gets locale, settings and fact material for his stories from his own experience. He has “lived around” in the Southwest most of his life, in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, and six years in the Puget Sound region of Washington gave him material for his Northwestern stories. He soldiered in Texas and the Philippines in the regular army, Company H, 9th U.S. Infantry, from November 22, 1907, to November 21, 1910.
So much for the authenticity of his story material. It might be added that some of the stories which he has built around the material and which have appeared in these pages have been mentioned before. His story, “The Wind,” included in O’Brien’s Best Short Stories for 1921, first appeared in Adventure.
AS TO the rest of his dull and uneventful life, here’s Mr. Scobee’s sad story:
He was born May 2, 1885, on his father’s farm near Pollock, Mo., in the northern part of the State. He was educated at the local school, and attended the normal school at Kirksville, Mo., but left before he obtained his degree. Sometime during his early years he learned the printer’s trade at Unionville, Mo.
After school he went to the army for a commission but changed his mind when he got in, though he says he had “no particular kick” against the service. He was post printer in the army, at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, for a year or two, and after his army service ended in November, 1910, spent a year knocking about Missouri.
He took a newspaper job on a daily paper at Pittsburg, Kansas, October 3, 1911, and continued there about three years, with the exception of three months when he worked on a paper at Muskogee, Okla.
He spent winter of 1914 at Corpus Christi, Texas, and lived in San Antonio from January 28, 1915, to February 28, 1917. He has been on the Mexican border, and across in Mexico a little, as a newspaper man on the San Antonio Express, and working for other papers; and was military writer on the Express for some time, being on General Funston’s headquarters when Pershing was in Mexico. He lived in Fort Davis, Texas, March 1, 1917, to August 31, 1918, and in Bellingham, Wash., from June 7, 1919, to September 10, 1925, when he returned to Fort Davis, Texas, from which place he writes us now.
The winter of 1918-19 he spent at and near San Antonio.
He was married at Kansas City, November 24, 1911.
He ran both a country newspaper and a hotel here at Fort Davis in 1917-18, but afterward gave them up.
“RECREATIONS,” says Mr. Scobee, “are hiking up a high mountain now and then, and down again.
“Or riding in cattle round-ups with reglar cowboys, watching how they do, or branding and burning my fingers.
“Studying Indians from their numerous old paintings on the rocks of the Southwest, or their shelters, etc. (Quite amateurish at this.)
“Studying birds and classifying them, and acquiring knowledge of their habits. (Quite an amateur ornithologist, quite amateurish that is.)
“Studying the Mexicans, who are my nearest neighbors, and studying their language and acquiring one new word annually if I’m industrious. Can say manana and “hot tamale” and “a bowl of chili” already, and buenos dias—or something about like that.
“Saw a bank cashier offer a cowboy a chair today. The cowboy kinda blushed and said: ‘By gosh, that’s the first time anybody ever brought me a chair in my life. Reckon I’ll set down in it and try how it goes.’ Nobody ever asked me for my memoirs before until Adventure done so, but unlike the cowboy I can’t enjoy it.
“P.S.—How I happened to be in the bank where the cashier and cowboy got so polite and friendly, was, I went in to fill my fountain pen that I found, as the saying is.”—

Barry Scobee
Barry Scobee (Photo courtesy Archives of the Big Bend, Bryan Wildenthal Memorial
Library, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas)

H.A. DeRosso - new ebooks - 2 novels and 1 short story collection

AmazonEncore has reissued three H.A. DeRosso books in ebook format:


A dark, psychological Western, .44 merges the brooding sensibility of noir with the stark, iconic desert landscapes that symbolically leave the characters exposed and vulnerable to the harsh high noon sun, but also those parts of themselves that they’d rather not give in to. DeRosso’s writing is stark and hard-hitting, devoid of excessive flourishes yet finely attuned to the inner-lives of his characters – and we can’t forget the suspenseful shootouts. When its lean but dynamic 159 pages are over, you can’t help but admit that .44 is one hell of a good Western.
Another review at:

Foreword by Bill Pronzini
The Bounty Hunter
Long Lonesome
Whitewater Challenge
The Hired Man
The Last Sleep
My Brother: Killer
Fair Game
The MesteƱos
Those Bloody Bells of Hell!
Under the Burning Sun is more than a collection of western stories. It is a sample of how good the genre story can be. The violence—and there is some—is realistic and vivid. It is examined with a neutrality that allows the reader to see its affects on the characters and story. The “shadowlands” tales—“The Bounty Hunter” and “Those Bloody Bells of Hell!”—are brilliant.


The hero, Dave Driscoll, is in jail for rustling, but the fellow in the next cell has it even worse. He’s going to be hanged the next morning for killing a bank teller during a robbery. This doomed hombre is a hardscrabble rancher with a wife, a son, and a failing spread who became a bank robber to help his family. Because of that, he’s hidden the money he got away with and refuses to tell anyone where it is, including the brutal sheriff who wants the loot for himself.
However, when Driscoll gets out of prison three years later and returns to the same town, he finds that a lot of people believe the condemned man told him where the money was hidden, and now there are various factions who want to force him to lead them to the loot by any means necessary, including torture. Driscoll really doesn’t know where the money is, but he wants to find it to help the hanged man’s wife and son.