Pulp Census Report: Tip Top Semi-Monthly and Frank Merriwell

TIP TOP SEMI-MONTHLY – March 25, 1915 Second issue sold for just $36.00 and the April 10, 1915 Third issue sold for the same.

March 25, 1915 “VERY NICE. Except 2″ SPLIT AT BOTTOM… easy to re-glue. NICE BACK COVER AND GREAT PAGES !”;

TIP TOP SEMI-MONTHLY - March 25, 1915 (#2)

TIP TOP SEMI-MONTHLY – March 25, 1915 (#2)

April 10, 1915 “NICE. Except 3″ SPLIT AT BOTTOM… easy to re-glue. NICE BACK COVER AND GREAT PAGES !”

TIP TOP SEMI-MONTHLY - April 10, 1915 (#3)

TIP TOP SEMI-MONTHLY – April 10, 1915 (#3)

As a Pulp title it only had 18 issues. It began it’s

TIP TOP WEEKLY - April 18, 1896

TIP TOP WEEKLY – April 18, 1896

long history as the “Dime Novel” TIP TOP WEEKLY with the very first “Frank Merriwell” appearance, “Frank Merriwell or, First Days at Fardale” on April 18, 1896 and continuing until 1912 before transmorphing into NEW TIP TOP WEEKLY (August 3, 1912) with Frank Jr. taking over with “Frank Merriwell, Jr. or The Camp on Wind River”.

Frank  Merriwell (and Frank, Jr,) made it into TIP TOP SEMI-MONTHY (also brother Dick) but just seemed not able to translate into the Pulp magazines after such a long history. Frank did make 7 serials in SPORT STORY MAGAZINE in 1927-1928, 2 stories in FAME AND FORTUNE (ghosted by Warren Elliot Carleton), and 12 in TOP-NOTCH MAGAZINE 1929-1930 (the last 4 as serials) before finally heading into written retirement. He had a rare 27 1/2 minute 1915 Anti-Drinking Silent Movie, “Frank Merriwell in Arizona”. He made it into the newspaper funny pages from 1928 to 1936, and a very brief (don’t blink) 15 minute radio series in 1934 (and again from 1946 to 1949).

NEW TIP TOP WEEKLY - August 3, 1912

NEW TIP TOP WEEKLY – August 3, 1912

(An aside: in March 1973 he became President of the U.S, in a way. Let’s just say it’s a terrible story, best left forgotten, and leave it at that.)

Bookery states “Uncommon to Scarce” $10.00 – $25.00 – $50.00 (the March 10, 1915 First issue is listed as $20.00 – $50.00 – $100.00)

For a Pulp from 1915, “Scarce” (“…tough to find … a handful of couples may surface (yea, I’d like to see that – DLS), while…none may come up for sale at all. Most collectors will accept what condition they can find…” – Bookery), and a major character in the Pulp industry (although on his athletic last legs; he’s catch a brief second wind from 1928 to 1930), those prices seem a tad low, especially if you do find one in top condition (remember, 1915 here). It’s a title I watch for and have only seem about 6-7 copies surface in 8 years.

– Believes in Our Youth –
By William Fuchs

I knew him as Burt L. Standish. A million boys in the United States between the ages of ten and fifteen, who assiduously followed Frank Merriwell as he went through Fardale, into Yale and then put into the world again, knew him by that name. Every week we trudged to the neighborhood  bookstore and deposited our coins for the latest copy ofFrank Merriwell“.

TOP-NOTCH MAGAZINE - Second Nov. 1929

TOP-NOTCH MAGAZINE – Second Nov. 1929

The lad who had not heard of Burt L. Standish had not yet tasted of the joys of life.

But his name, he told me, is William Gilbert Patten. When he was seventeen he dropped the William. I suppose the reason was  that he hated to be called Willie. That was a “sissy’s” name and his imagination, which had been bred on the old Beadle and Adams thrillers, yearned for something bold and daring. Gil Patten, when uttered in the right tone was fine. In the little town in Maine where he lived the altered name brought him some respect from his fellows.

The spirit of  adventure was in him at the age of sixteen.Then he suddenly became fully aware that his mother wanted him to be a preacher and that his father was passionately set on making him a carpenter, a good trade by which one could make an honest living.  But Willy remained awake nights visioning overwhelming successes as a writer.

William Gilbert Patten (Burt L. Standish) (Oct. 25, 1866 – Jan. 16, 1945))

William Gilbert Patten (Burt L. Standish) (Oct. 25, 1866 – Jan. 16, 1945))

Willie was aghast when he finally discovered his parents’ ambitions for him. He pleaded with them, but to no avail. The elder Patten would never allow his son to become a writer. There was something indecent about writing for a livelihood.
So Willie put his toothbrush in his pocket and ran away to Biddeford, the mill town quite a few miles away, where he quietly secured a job in old man Gooch’s place. He spent six months there and then asked for a raise, it was refused him and Willie quit.
He came home. He brought money with him and the sophisticated air of a man the world. His parents welcomed him back with open arms, but his  father told him in words not exactly soft that he would have to go to work. But our hero went to sleep and dreamed of cowboys and Indians.
As he was telling me this Patten laughed. “I had a hard time convincing the folks that I could make money writing, but I finally did”.  He earned six dollars for two stories submitted to the Banner Weekly. For his third contribution he was awarded with seventy-five dollars. The fires of authorship burned in him fiercely. He sat down and wrote a full length novel. The title was “The  Diamond Sport”. He was paid $150 for it. His day had arrived at last. Henceforth Gil Patten would write novels. The world would yet recognize him as a genius.
Patten puffed his pipe and he laughed again as the recollection of those days came to him. “I was writing a lot then and making money. My books were all thrillers, stories of the golden West. In their pages roamed Indians and two-gun cattlemen. Whole wagonloads of brave pioneers were butchered by the ruthless red men. Men shot at the drop of a hat. They all chewed tobacco and swore.”
For about four years this continued. Then, when he had passed his twenty-first year. Patten suddenly decided to head for New York. He had saved a little money and felt sure of success in the big city.
A few months previously he had been struck by an amazing idea and with his ego guiding him he had started a newspaper. This venture had not been marked by an epochal success. Let Patten tell the  story:
“My mother put a stop to it when she found out that I was $900 in debt. She was scandalize. My father, she said, had never been more than $100 in debt in his whole life. That was about the only connection I have ever had with a newspaper.”
When Gilbert Patten came to New York it had already achieved a certain eminence among the cities of the world: Jenny Lind had sung here; the actor Forrest had performed before its citizens; the Bowery was the gaudiest and the most bizarre street in the United States; the Brooklyn Bridge was still unequaled by any other metropolis and Steve Brodie had gained undying fame by diving off it, and emerging alive; John L. Sullivan was still heavyweight champion and was to be seen nightly in his saloons; the girls in its show houses danced in tights: the Pulitzer Building still topped all other structures in the country; Fifth avenue was the flower of  residential districts; it was the city of opportunity. From all over the land came lads to seek their fortunes.
Into this seething pot Patten threw himself. He made the acquaintance of many men. Colonel Prentiss Ingraham,  biographer of Buffalo Bill Cody, developed a fondness for the young man and daily lectured him on the Western story. The Colonel said it would  never die, but his young listener was doubtful. His own stories seemed aged and decrepit to him. Thus far Frank Merriwell was still unthought-of in boy’s literature.
One day while Patten was in Camden, Maine, he received a long letter from Street and Smith who had taken over the leadership in the dime novel publishing business from Beadle and Adams. The firm wanted him to write a series of stories on a young man attending a military academy and afterward, if the thing were possible, to send the youth on a tour of the world and then through college. Patten chose Yale because, as he explained, it was the most democratic of all the institutions. Thus was Frank Merriwell  born. It was in 1896 that Patten wrote the first book. It was called “Frank Merriwell at Fardale,” and it sold for a nickel.
The book was an instant success. Patten in stilled a typewriter in his home and made ready to turn out a book a week. “The publishers thought that three years of this work would do for me; there were 20,000 words each week. But I kept it up for almost twenty years.” There was noticeable pride in his voice.
“In these twenty years I traveled all over the United States. But spent most of my time in New York. It was a terrific grind at first, but later I became used to it. As I grew to know Frank better I grew fond of him and I confess that I followed his adventures almost as breathlessly as his army of small readers.

“For one thing I rarely had much trouble in finding plots for the young man. I usually entangled him in some way or other and then let him out after he had shown his character. Need I tell you that Frank was always honest, courageous, resourceful, generous and was never one to take advantage even of an enemy ? However, Frank really wasn’t the brave fellow everybody imagined him to be. Frank was often scared, but me repeat that he was resourceful and he always managed to get out of every scrape I put him into.

“I think, though, that I rank’s greatest trait was his loyalty. That is what boys like, and undoubtedly this did much to popularize him with his young readers. Frank always stood by his friends, although he could have made a million dollars if he had turned against them. Merriwell had a sense of Justice and a sense of humor. These helped him.

“There were some bad aspects to Frank, but these were all natural ones. He loved to gamble and his desperate struggles to overcome this weakness filled many pages of my stories. He also had an eye pretty girl, but his was the wholesome respect one accords to anything beautiful. He was a clean-minded fellow.

“Frank Merriwell was what every boy would like to be. And his friends were of the sort we’d like to have. All of them were stanch and true and willing to lay down their lives for Frank Merriwell, and he would have done the same for them.

“The adventures of Frank when he traveled around the world must have delighted his followers. Frank went through England, France and other countries in Europe. In France Merriwell, always on the side of justice, leaped to the defense of Captain Dreyfus, who had been railroaded to Devil’s Island on a trumped-up charge.”

As Patten talked I examined him carefully. His hair is white, but his eyes reflect a daredevilish gleam. The spirit of youth is far from dead in him. He is tall and graceful, a genial fellow and addicted to pipe smoking.

I have no doubt that, just like Merriwell, Patten would not be averse to playing a prank on anybody. If I can remember correctly the former was responsible for putting a centipede in the bed of one of the students at Fardale. He engineered many more tricks on his friends. I would not be at all surprised if those close to Patten have been the victims of some of his mischievous pranks.

Patten still writes about Frank Merriwell. The stories appear in the Top-Notch Magazine. Patten was one of the founders of the magazine and he edited it through the early years of its existence. But he discovered that writing and editing were too much for him. He preferred to write, so he sent the editorship down the line.

Few people know that Patten uncovered the playing value of Bill Carrigan, famous Boston Red Sox catcher of a decade ago. Patten ran a semi-pro baseball team in Camden and Carrigan played on his team. Patten explained laughingly that he had used Carrigan in every position but that of catcher. When he heard that Carrigan was regarded as one of the most valuable catchers in the American League he was astounded.

Patten reads the sporting pages, but he is not very enthusiastic about the sports themselves. The love of the game is gone, he thinks. In his opinion, Albie Booth is one of the great football players of the generation. Patten had seen Booth in action once, against Dartmouth, and he says Booth’s playing prowess to his swiftness of foot and to the Yale star’s trick of relaxing and allowing himself to fall limp when tackled.

Frank Merriwell himself was something of a athlete. He was Yale’s greatest figure. Who can forget Merriwell’s thrilling home runs, which usually came in the ninth inning when two men were out, and Yale needed four runs to win.

But Gilbert Patten’s fondest treasures are letters he has received from parents and boys all over the country. He has rarely met a person who did not grow up on Frank Meriwell. Some of them know more about Merriwell than he himself. They have not forgotten their boyhood idol.

A paragraph from one letter sent to Patten by a heartbroken mother read: “My child was a wild boy until he commenced reading about Frank Merriwell. I loved my boy. He died in the Argonne (and), fighting for his country. If he his gone to heaven he owes it to Frank Merriwell. Thank you.”
AMAZING SPIDERMAN #8 Jan. 1964 by Jack Kirby(inks by Steve Ditko)

AMAZING SPIDERMAN #8 Jan. 1964 by Jack Kirby(inks by Steve Ditko)

ENJOY PULPS – David Lee Smith

Pulps Pricings Sales Census: 10 Sea Stories Magazines

Here are 10 recent sales of SEA STORIES MAGAZINE from eBay:



SEA STORIES MAGAZINE – Aug. 5. 1923 sold for $125.00 “Buy It Now”

Authors: “Mystery” by C. S. Montanye;

“A Matter of Viewpoint” by Captain A. E. Dingle (Reprinted from PEOPLE’S – Feb. 1916);

“The Tyranny of Fear” by  Morgan Robertson (Reprinted from The POPULAR MAGAZINE – Nov. 15, 1912; “South of the Line” by George Ethelbert Walsh

“Magazine is in very good condition. Covers have a little wear, small edge tears, pieces missing edges on back, spine is a little rough at ends. Pages nice lightly tanned. No markings or signs of previous ownership.Book measures 6-3/4” by 9-3/4”. Page count is 144.”

SEA STORIES MAGAZINE – Sept. 20, 1923 sold recently on eBay for $57.00

Authors: “The Boomerang” by Captain A. E. Dingle

SEA STORIES - Sept. 20, 1923

SEA STORIES – Sept. 20, 1923

SEA STORIES - Sept. 20, 1923 Spine(reprinted from PEOPLE’S MAGAZINE – March 1916); “Yellow Plunder” by Mayn Clew Garnett (pseudonym of T. Jenkins Hains) (Reprinted from TOP-NOTCH MAGAZINE – July 1, 1911);

“In the Valley of the Shadow” by Morgan Robertson (reprinted from The POPULAR MAGAZINE – May 1, 1910); Frank Richardson Pierce

Cover Design – LA Shafer Size – about 7×10″ No. Pages – 144 Condition – issue has somewhat worn cover edges (primarily due to their being a larger size than the page sizes), binding of text block fine, text block page edges were unevenly trimmed/assembled by the publishers.”


SEA STORIES - April 1923 and Feb. 1929

SEA STORIES – April 1923 and Feb. 1929

Two Issues together of SEA STORIES MAGAZINE, April 1925 and Feb. 1929, sold for $144.50

SEA STORIES - April 1923

SEA STORIES – April 1923

April 1925 –  Authors: “The Good Ship Change and Rest” 3RD Tim Brady” appearance of 8) by L. Paul (pseudonym of Ludwig Paul Kuhring);

“A Strange Adventure” by T. Jenkins Hains (with the pseudonym Mayn Clew Garnett it make him a semi-prolific writer);

“The Locked Cabin” by Morgan Robertson (Reprinted from The POPULAR MAGAZINE – Feb. 1, 1913);

“Jane Hardy, Shipmaster” (“Captain Michael O’Shea” appearance) by  Ralph D. Paine (all 5 stories in SEA STORIES were reprints from The POPULAR MAGAZINE from 1912 and 1913).

SEA STORIES - Feb. 1929

SEA STORIES – Feb. 1929

Feb. 1929 – Authors: Robert Carse is the only prolific author here.

“Cover Artists – April by Anton Otto Fischer, February by George H. Wert

Size – about 7×10″ No. Pages – the April issue contains 192 pages of articles, the February issue contains 144 pages plus some advertising pages.

Condition – both issues have worn cover edges (primarily due to their being a larger size than the page sizes), binding of text block fine for both issues, text block page edges were unevenly trimmed/assembled by the publishers, and the April issue has an owner’s name on cover written in pencil.”


Two 1928 Issues together of SEA STORIES MAGAZINE, Feb. and June, sold for $152.50



 Authors – Feb. 1928:  “Friday Ship” by Frank H. Shaw; “Fishin’ ” by Robert Carse;

“A Marine Muddle” by T. Jenkins Hains (pseudonym of Mayn Clew Garnett);

“Square Sails Off Barbary” (Part 4 of 4) by Warren Elliot Carleton (who wrote the “Bronc Evans”, “Dusty Radburn”, “Gila Jack”, and “Sailor Anson” series over at WILD WEST WEEKLY, and the “Brick and Boots” series in TOP-NOTCH MAGAZINE)

“Magazines are very old, have frayed pages, and have been heavily used.”



June 1928 Authors: “Son of His Father” by Don Waters;

“The Voyage North” by Warren Elliot Carleton






SEA STORIES MAGAZINE - July and Aug. 1928 Spines

SEA STORIES MAGAZINE – July and Aug. 1928 Spines

Two 1928 Issues together of SEA STORIES MAGAZINE, July and Aug., sold for $91.77




July 1928 – Authors: “The Madmen of the “Zodiac” ” by John Murray Reynolds;

“The Dilemma’s Horns” by T. Jenkins Hains (pseudonym of Mayn Clew Garnett);

“Pete Peterson’s Pipe” by Don Waters;

“Swordfish for Boston” by Warren Elliot Carleton

Aug. 1928 – Authors:  “Spanish Moon” (Part 2 of 4) by Robert Carse”;




Cover Artists – July (1928) by L. A. Simonsen,

August (1928) by Victor Petry

Size – about 7×10″ No. Pages – each issue contains 144 pages of articles, plus some advertising pages.

Condition – both issues have worn cover edges, August issue has separated covers, binding of text block fine for both issues, covers have a short 1″ tear in from an edge, text block page edges were unevenly trimmed by the publishers.”




SEA STORIES MAGAZINE – Aug. 1929 sold for $59.89

Authors: Frank H. Shaw

“Cover Design – H. C. Murphy Size – about 7×9.45″  No. Pages – 144 Condition – issue has worn cover edges (primarily due to their being a larger size than the page sizes), back cover has something stuck to it in the middle, binding of text block fine, text block page edges were unevenly trimmed/assembled by the publishers.”



SEA STORIES MAGAZINE – Sept. 1929 sold for $56.55



“Garbanzos” by John Murray Reynolds; Warren Hastings Miller”


Bookery list 1922-1929 SEA STORIES MAGAZNE as “Uncommon” and the 1930 issues as “Scarce”  $10.00 – $25.00 – $50.00. All issues never show up for sale, buyers know it, and usually go for a premium over the listed prices. I’d rate them all as “Scarce”.

There are four long-run, “generically” titled Pulps that are much more scarce than their “generalized” brethren (e.g.: ALL WESTERN MAGAZINE, PRIVATE DETECTIVE STORIES, RANGELAND ROMANCES, etc.) and those are COWBOY STORIES, SEA STORIES MAGAZINE, GHOST STORIES, and 1910-1919 issues of SHORT STORIES. How were the findings of these issues during the early PULP CON CONVENTIONS, were they always as scarce as they seem to be today ?

ENJOY PULPS – David Lee Smith

The Phantom Detective – Oct. 1945: “Death to a Diplomat”

So what does intrepid top crime reporter of the Clarion and cohort of The Phantom, Steve Hudson, read when he’s not getting knocked around like some second rate Tonto or Robin, the Boy Wonder ?


The Phantom Detective (Oct. 1945)

Well, directly from The PHANTOM DETECTIVE – Oct. 1945

After Steve got knocked around, again, with brass knuckles at the beginning of the story (“I felt like one of Fritzie Zivie’s sparring partners) (Fritzie Zivic (May 8, 1913 – May 16, 1984)), and later kidnapped (sheesh !), only to be rescued by The Phantom (racing from a “tattoo of bullets”), “He wondered what to do with the evening. Movies, unless they were full of action and had strong plots, bored him. He never managed to see “Oklahoma !“, but that didn’t bother him. From what he read and heard he could still see that musical in the years to come.
The best thing he decided, was to pick up a detective magazine on the way home and spend the hours before turning in reading about the trails and tribulations of his favorite fictional characters.“

I would have said he read “The Candid Camera Kid” but the Kid was out of DETECTIVE NOVELS MAGAZINE by June 1944 after 23 appearances; 2 more would appear in THRILLING DETECTIVE MAGAZINE (Nov. 1944 and March 1945). “The Crimson Mask” was also gone from that same magazine; hey, you know Steve Hudson only reads Thrilling/Better publications, right ? So, he probably read “Dan Fowler: G-Man”, and “The Black Bat” (Black Bat Vol.2; Black Bat Vol. 3; Black Bat Vol. 4). There was also the “Willie Klump” series by Joe Archibald in POPULAR DETECTIVE (near 50 stories (of 65) that can be read for free at PulpGen).

Oklahoma ! ”, the original Broadway production opened on March 31, 1943 in New York City and closed May 29, 1948 (2,212 performances). Steve seeing “Oklahoma !” were… well let’s read his own thoughts, “Now the chances of getting to see the show – and breaking the reporter’s distinction of probably being the only single, English speaking male citizen in New York who hadn’t seen the piece – were as slender as a chorus girl’s waist.”

Some more tit-bits from the story, also usually found in other issues:

One way to contact The Phantom ? While out on the rich bachelor social life as Richard Curtis Van Loan with Mrs. Longstreet’s daughter, Elodie, she went off to power her nose. She returns and asked, “Who’s the Phantom Detective ?”

“Did you say – Phantom Detective ?” asked Van Loan… “As much as anyone who reads the papers… He – he’s some sort of a mysterious Nemesis of crime, I understand. Supposed to be infallible. Scourge of the underworld and all that sort of thing (just pat yourself on the back Richard – DLS)… You step away to powder your nose and come back asking about the Phantom. What’s the idea ?”

…”There was a radio in the power room (rich people, yea know – DLS)… It was playing dance music, a broadcast from Lenny Hildrereth’s ‘Green Pastures.’ Well, right at the middle of one of the best numbers the music stopped and a funny thing happened. A voice came on and said, ‘Calling the Phantom. Calling the Phantom Detective !’ It said it five or six times before if faded out and the music came back.” (I like the stories better where they call him just “The Phantom”, as they should – DLS). A web search for Lenny Hildrereth/Big Band/Swing Band/band leader/conductor brought up nothing.

It must be nice to be as rich and powerful as Frank Havens, publisher and owner of the Clarion (a whole string of newspapers), to cut in on FCC radio transmissions just like that. Then again the Federal government wanted him to contact the Phantom for a diplomat’s murder.

Another way to get his attention was to use the Bat-Sign… ‘er, the Red Flashing light atop of Commissioner Gord… ‘er Publisher Frank Havens’ Clarion building. Sorry, after 1939 when that other guy came along it’s hard to tell them apart. Some more examples of their similarities:

1) “After three more rings brought no response , the Phantom took his master key from his utility belt… ‘er, I mean… his pocket and inserted it into the doors lock.

That key had been made for him by a Viennese locksmith, before the war, when the phantom was in Austria. There was no other key like it in existence, he was sure. No lock was proof against it, once the key was fitted to wards and tumblers and it’s delicate barrel mechanism adjusted so that its flanges spread”. The use of sophisticated gadgets as needed.

2) “It was Richard Curtis Van Loan, in dinner clothes, who drove his super-charged, powerful Batmob… ,er, car over one of the East River bridges in the twilight of the evening. The car, used on so many life-and-death occasions, was a masterpiece of automotive genius. Richly luxurious to all outward appearances, it possessed hidden features that made for great efficiency. The multi-cylindered aluminum motor under its hood could have flown a heavy bomber. The gas that propelled it was of the highest octane aviation fuel possible to obtain, except for military requirements (gotta still think of the war effort – DLS) “, and later,

“In all likelihood he would need a car, swift transportation… The garage where he kept many of his various cars… The garage owner had never questioned any man who came for cars with authority from Richard Curtis Van Loan… but that garage owner was paid well to keep the cars in tip-top condition… and was in one of the super-charged sedans.” Or…,

3) “The Phantom, who read and spoke Spanish with the same fluency he did with so many other languages.” A man of many and all talents.

Instead of plugging The Phantom when the villain had the perfect opportunity: “Like a fox with a hound pack at his heels the Phantom ran until he reached a forbidding blank brick wall… his feet stopped on what seemed to be a circular metal cover (O.K., you already know what’s going to happen, still… – DLS).

“Then above the pound of his heart, Roger Kuren’s triumphant voice sounded behind him: “…Turn and keep both hands up high !”

Kuren stood a few feet away, his gat trained on the Phantom.

…Trapped in a cell-like compartment that offered not the slightest chance of escape ! In all his excitement packed career he couldn’t remember any predicament equally as hopeless” (sure there has been, there’s innumerable instances much more dramatic and threatening than this !!! – DLS).

“…So I hired you to go out gunning for yourself ! That must have given you a laugh ! Now it’s my turn, and it’s the last laugh they pays off on !”
“So I’ve heard,” the Phantom said.

…The Phantom shrugged. He had decided on a desperate charge forward – stopping a bullet, and hoping it would not be fatal – when Kuren ended the idea for him. Kuren’s left hand reached out and fastened on one of several levers… and gave it a yank.
The Phantom felt the metal circle on which he stood begin to tip up… he was plunged into the blackness yawning at his feet.”

I told you you knew what was coming ahead of time. So reaching your hand outward from your body is faster than pulling one finger on a Tommy Gun trigger, right. Just shoot ’em and be done with it !!!

There is another inconsistence in the story. There is mentioned of “his superb physical condition”, yet earlier in the story, “…A fist smacked into the Phantom’s face… The man flung the waiter out of his path, sprang for the stairs and with lightning speed disappeared down them. The Phantom put his gun away. No use to follow him. The man had been too fast, too agile.” Richard didn’t even attempt to give chase and the assaulter was just a few seconds ahead. In movies and television shows today the cop or detective, in led physical shape, would have sprung up and given chase for the next 5 – 10 minutes, always hoping the culprit would stumble and fall (which they usually did). Not so with The Phantom in this instance for all of his amazing training being the “Nemesis of crime”, and “Scourge of the underworld”.

This wasn’t a very good or exciting story. A South American Consul’s is murdered; Washington asked Frank Havens to contact The Phantom; one of the masterminds wants to pay 10 cents on the dollar on shares for a useless gold mind in Honduras (Van Loan and Emily Millard have the rest of the remaining shares); Steve Hudson is beaten or captured twice; The Phantom goes into the villain’s Turkish-Bath hideout 3 times, climbed up or escaped down the stairway the same amount of times; travels up and down the streets and by-ways of New York 3 times or more in his car; using an old, overused Pulp standby, the story ends on a dock, in a (house)boat where the villain, and the part of his henchmen that are left, have a very quick gun battle and wrap-up.

I thought the gang wanted to buy the mine to keep people away from it, in order to be used to hide Nazis and their loot (WW2 and all), who would pay good money. I also thought that Emily Millard would have sold her shares to Richard Curtis Van Loan, at his request, for her needed blackmail paying money (another part of the story plot) and then tell the criminal mastermind that Van Loan would never sell (they had asked him much earlier, and he only stated he’d need time to think on it). That would have been at least a slightly better plot.

According to Tom Johnson’s “Phantom Detective Companion” this issue was either written by Charles Greenberg or C. S. Montanye (FictionMags says Montanye). The cover is by Sam Cherry, who’s large output was 90% Westerns.

ENJOY PULPS – David Lee Smith

Pulps Pricings Sales Census: Ka-Zar Pulps, 1936-1937

KA-ZAR – Oct. 1936, Jan. 1937 and June 1937 Set sold recently on eBay for $550.00 “Buy It Now”

KA-ZAR - Complete Original Set

KA-ZAR – Complete Original Set

“VERY NICE OVERALL SHAPE. HIGHER GRADE SET…. NO pieces missing, no tape on covers although small piece inside cover. Full overhang! Complete bold spine! EXCEPTIONAL page quality. Nice back cover with usual edge wear/tears. Much better than average issue!”

KA-ZAR - Jan. 1937

KA-ZAR – Jan. 1937

KA-ZAR - Oct. 1936

KA-ZAR – Oct. 1936

This averages out to $188.33 per issue which isn’t bad, especially if you wanted a complete set. The second and third issues are harder to find especially in any halfway decent condition, if you can find them. The white on the second and bright yellow on the third just adds to finding nice clean copies harder. The first is easier to find, relative, and this copy could have been slightly better, however the other two are excellent buys.

The publisher of KA-ZAR – Oct. 1936 wanted to make sure that you wouldn’t forget that you were buying a KA-ZAR magazine: big large red KA-ZAR title, which is fine, but then “Adventures of KA-ZAR The Great” and also “A thrilling KA-ZAR novel” by Bob Byrd.

Oh, by the way people, this is a KA-ZAR magazine, just in case you didn’t know !!!

“The Golden Map” in the last issue of The WORLD ADVENTURER– March 1934, and the 78 page “Scourge of the Sky Hellions” in SKY DEVILS– Oct. 1938 (Third issue, and another Red Circle (Timely/Marvel) Pulp)) are Bob Byrd’s only other known works according to the FictionMags Index.

Marvel Comics - Oct. 1939 (1st Comics Ka-Zar)

Marvel Comics – Oct. 1939 (1st Comics Ka-Zar)

KA-ZAR - June 1937

KA-ZAR – June 1937

Bookery says it’s only “Uncommon” but still valued at $80.00 – $200.00 – $400.00 for the Oct. 1936 issue, and $60.00 – $150.00 – $300.00 for each of the other two.

The first issue was printed 3 Years before MARVEL COMICS – 1939 (Marvel Mystery Comics beginning with the second issue), thus a historic title. It’s just not as rare.

The first Ka-Zar was named David Rand, raised in the African Congo by his father following a plane crash (1936-’37). He then reappeared in the very first Timely/Marvel comic ever published, the famous MARVEL COMICS – Oct. 1939, with a Frank R. Paul cover. The series continued until Jan. 1942 in MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #2-27 and HUMAN TORCH– #5 (b) Fall 1941 (with the Human Torch warning Ka-Kar about Prince Namor, the Sub Mariner’s, new war with land dwellers). Mistakenly there were two issues called #5, Summer 1941 and Fall 1941, hence the (a) and (b) after the issue number; Ka-Zar appeared in the Fall issue.

The second incarnation as Kevin Plunder, or rather Kevin Reginald, Lord Plunder (born in Castle Plunder, U.K.), appeared in March 1965’s issue of X-Men #10. Here he lives in the hidden pre-historic “Savage Land” beneath the icecaps of Antarctica (in Modern times), with Zabu, the saber-toothed tiger. I certainly won’t go into his long history here.

X-MEN #10 1965 (1st Modern KA-ZAR)

X-MEN #10 1965 (1st Modern KA-ZAR)

HUMAN TORCH #5 Fall 1941 (b) (Ka-Zar is warned by Human Torch about Sub-Mariner flooding jungle)

HUMAN TORCH #5 Fall 1941 (b) (Ka-Zar is warned by Human Torch about Sub-Mariner flooding jungle)

Buy the Complete Pulp Series here for $4.99–$39.95 with introduction by Will Murray.

ENJOY PULPS – David Lee Smith

(Altus Press said a dealer had a nice 3 issue Bound copy that “was quickly snatched up from for” $250.00 at the recent 2016 Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention.

$4.99–$39.95 doesn’t look so bad now!)

“The Rotting Log” by Johnston McCulley (The Pacific Monthly, May 1906) Very First Published Story?

“THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906)
Is this Johnston McCulley’s very FIRST published story ?
FictionMags Index list “The Song of the Sand” in The RED BOOK MAGAZINE – Oct. 1906 as the earliest listed there. This May issue is even earlier.


''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 1

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 1

''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 2A

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 2A

''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 2

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 2

''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 2C

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 2C

''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 2B

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 2B

''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 3A

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 3A

''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 3

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 3

''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 3C

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 3C

''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 3B

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 3B

''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 4A

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 4A

''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 4

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 4

''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 4C

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 4C

''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 4B

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 4B

''THE ROTTING LOG'' by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY - May 1906) pg. 5

”THE ROTTING LOG” by Johnston McCulley (The PACIFIC MONTHLY – May 1906) pg. 5

1965 SMOKEY The BEAR "Only You"

1965 SMOKEY The BEAR “Only You”

ENJOY PULPS – David Lee Smith

Pulps Pricings Sales Census: 10 Black Mask

For some recent Pulp sales we follow the gun-powder smell over to BLACK MASK and see ten arresting prices.

If it wasn’t stated before, the quotation marks on the condition were the dealers description of issue in question. Sometimes they only state “Good shape” or “As shown in pics,” which usually isn’t much to go on, especially if only the front cover is shown.

BLACK MASK – June 1930 sold for $99.00

Authors: “Glass Key” (part 4 of 4) by Dashiell Hammett;

BLACK MASK - June 1930

BLACK MASK – June 1930

“Tainted Power” (29th “Race Williams” (and here) of 82 (with 5 being serials) and 4th “The Flame” appearances) by Carroll John Daly (here’s a fun bit of trivia that serves no purpose, but: “The Men in Black” appears in DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE – Oct. 1938 a “Race Williams” story and the very next “Race Williams story is “The Quick and the Dead” in DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE- Dec. 1938);
“Hell’s Kettle” (33rd “Ed Jenkins” appearance of 74) by Erle Stanley Gardner;
“Signals of Storm” (4th “Jo Gar” appearance of 29) by Ramon Decolta (pseudonym of Raoul F. Whitfield);
“Red Dice” by Hapsburg Liebe

“This copy has a trimmed fc (front cover – DLS), NO bc (back cover – DLS), most of spine gone with tape to spine and cover. Paper is very nice.”

This issue has a lot of bad things going for it, except for the authors; Large “COMPLIMENTARY COPY” stamped on the cover, two round coffee (?) cup stains and dirty.

Even in this condition Bookery states: $180.00 – $450.00 – $900.00

BLACK MASK – June 1932 sold for $229.50

BLACK MASK - June 1932

BLACK MASK – June 1932

Authors: “The Amateur Murderer” (Part 3 of 4) (36th “Race Williams” story appearance of 82) by Carroll John Daly; “Cooking Crooks” (44th “Ed Jenkins” of 74 and 2nd “Norma Gay” of 2 appearances) by Erle Stanley Gardner; “The Siamese Cat” (19th “Jo Gar” appearance of 29) by Ramon Decolta (pseudonym of Raoul F. Whitfield); “Fast One 2: Lead Party” (2nd “Gerry Kells”/”S. Granquist” appearance of 4) by Paul Cain;
“Man Killer” (1st “Don Free” appearance of 3) by Raoul F. Whitfield (so he has 2 stories in this issue);
“One for the Book” (7th “Johnny Hi Gear” appearance of 8) by Stewart Stirling (pseudonym of Prentice Winchell)

“Condition: Front cover: Edge wear and short edge tears; corner creases; a few stress marks; light soiling along the top edge; separation from the spine for the top inch or so, and for the bottom inch and a half. Back cover: Bottom right corner mangled but still all there, a gouge in the woman’s hat and a much smaller one top center, edge wear, light surface soiling. Spine: Missing the bottom inch and a half; otherwise moderate wear and light surface soiling. I will include – at no extra cost – a new replacement piece for the spine bottom, scanned from another 1932 issue at 600 dpi onto actual pulp cover stock. Pages: Light tan, flexible, clean.”

Bookery states: $40.00 – $100.00 – $200.00 (for the Paul Cain story)

BLACK MASK – Jan. 1934 sold for $73.01

BLACK MASK - Jan. 1934 (British edition)

BLACK MASK – Jan. 1934 (British edition)

Authors: “A Guest of the House” (54th “Ed Jenkins” of 74 and 10th “Ngat T” of 22 appearances)

by Erle Stanley Gardner;
“Private War” (1st “George Killeen” appearance of 5) by Roger Torrey;
“Trouble-Hunted” (4th “Bill Lennox” appearance of 28) by W. T. Ballard;
“High Murder” by Raoul Whitfield; “Let Me Tell It” by Donald Barr Chidsey

British Edition. The stories and format are exactly the same as the American edition.
The ads on the inside front cover and both sides of the back cover have been replaced by ads of British merchants.
The front cover is lightly soiled with moderate to heavy edge wear and reading creases along left edge.
Spine has stress lines, rubs and a ¼” missing at the bottom. Back cover is soiled with moderate edge wear. Interior is tightly bound and relatively clean (pages 40 and 41 have light stains). Pages are cream to light tan. Edges are toned but still quite supple.”

Bookery: $30.00 – $75.00 – $150.00

BLACK MASK – Nov. 1934 sold for $92.00

BLACK MASK - Nov. 1934

BLACK MASK – Nov. 1934

Authors: “The Eyes Have it” (44th “Race Williams” appearance of 82) by Carroll John Daly;
“Hot Cash” (59th “Ed Jenkins” appearance of 74) by Erle Stanley Gardner;
“Room Service” (5th “Cleve Corby” appearance of 5) by Eugene Cunningham;
“Law and Disorder” (11th “Dal Prentice” appearance of 12) by Roger Torrey;
“In Dead Man’s Alley” (10th “Bill Lennox” appearance of 28) by W. T. Ballard

“Nice bright covers – trimmed at right. Spine with a couple of small chips. Front cover creased with tiny chips and tiny edge tears. Rear cover also with tiny edge tears. Edges toned. Pages supple – not brittle… I would call this about good.”

Bookery: $30.00 – $75.00 – $150.00

BLACK MASK – Jan. 1937 sold for $306.00

BLACK MASK - Jan. 1937

BLACK MASK – Jan. 1937

Authors: “Try the Girl” (6th “Carmady” appearance of 6) by Raymond Chandler;
“Little Guy” (20TH “Jerry Tracy” appearance of 27) by Theodore A. Tinsley (2 stories were done by Edward Churchill in 1934);
“Bulldog” by Max Brand (pseudonym of Frederick Faust) (reprinted from COLLIER’S – Feb. 23, 1924);
“Shooting Going On” by Cornell Woolrich; “Murder Frame” by Roger Torrey

“GOOD-VG. Light overall wear especially along the cover edges; pages more browned than usual, again especially along the edges, with chipping noticed on a few page tips. Otherwise basically in solid condition.”

Bookery: $100.00 – $250.00 – $500.00

It’s Raymond Chandler’s final appearance in BLACK MASK and to make up for that it’s Cornell Woolrich first!

BLACK MASK – Oct. 1938 sold for $66.00

Authors: “Forced Landing” (11th “Oliver Quade” appearance of 15) by Frank Gruber;

BLACK MASK - Oct. 1938

BLACK MASK – Oct. 1938

“This Way to the Morgue” (1st “Murray Gifford” appearance of 2) by Frederick C. Davis;
“Gardenia Kill (9th “Pat McCarthy” appearance of 14) by Roger Torrey;
“The Death Pool” (8th “Miles Standish Rice” appearance of 16) by Baynard H. Kendrick

Bookery: $20.00 – $50.00 – $100.00

BLACK MASK - Nov. 1938

BLACK MASK – Nov. 1938

BLACK MASK – Nov. 1938 sold for $55.99

Authors: “Station K-I-L-L” (25th “Jerry Tracy” appearance of 27) by Theodore A. Tinsley;

“Good condition. Used. The cover has some wear, small tears and creases. Page foxing.”

Bookery: $15.00 – $35.00 – $75.00

BLACK MASK – Dec. 1938 sold for $64.00

Authors: “Stop the Presses”

BLACK MASK - Dec. 1938

BLACK MASK – Dec. 1938

(2nd “Murray Gifford” appearance of 2) by Frederick C. Davis; “Concealed Weapon” (10th “Pat McCarthy” appearance of 14) by Roger Torrey; “Smoke in Your Eyes” by Hugh B. Cave; “Come Clean” by Donald Wandrei;
“Careless Killer” (3rd “Beeker” appearance of 7) by Dwight V. Babcock

“Good condition. Used. The cover has some wear, small creases. Page foxing.”

This issue may have been returned because the same dealer listed another copy with the exact same cover, but added pictures of he inside pages. Unless this was a different issue but he re-used the same cover image for some reason. That one only sold for $19.50.

BLACK MASK - Oct. 1938 pages 2

BLACK MASK – Oct. 1938 pages 2

BLACK MASK - Oct. 1938 pages 1

BLACK MASK – Oct. 1938 pages 1


“Fair condition. Used. The cover has some surface, edge, cover wear and tear. Pages are foxing. ”
The top and bottom pages are darkened/stained/foxed (?) like 2 1/2 – 3 inches on each side. However both buyers gave the dealer positive feedback so who knows.

BLACK MASK - Oct. 1940

BLACK MASK – Oct. 1940

BLACK MASK – Oct. 1940 sold for $52.00

Authors: “C-Jag” by Cornell Woolrich;

“Money to Burn” (5th “Rex Sackler” appearance of 29) by D. L. Champion;

“The Man Who Turned Up Missing” by Donald Barr Chidsey;

“Killer in Camp” by J. Lane Linklater”

Condition: Original Magazine with wear with original cover/pages. Lots of creasing small chunkupper right back cover gone, Otherwise, NO repairs, clippings or missing pages in the magazine.”

Bookery: $20.00 – $50.00 – $100.00

ENJOY PULPS – David Lee Smith

“The Pot of Gold” by Eudora Ramsay Richardson (a Pre-Spider/Richard Wentworth Story)

“Calling RICHARD WENTWORTH – Grow a Back-Bone – Stat !!!” (1932)

Eudora Ramsay Richardson

Eudora Ramsay Richardson around 1958

Jamaica NY Long Island Daily Press 1932

THE POT of GOLD by Eudora Ramsay Richardson

Here’s a SPIDER/RICHARD WENTWORTH story pre-First SPIDER – Oct.1933 !!!

To make it more Pulp related feminist, Eudora Ramsay Richardson (1891-1973) wrote two stories for WEIRD TALES: March 1924 “The Voice of Euphemia” and April 1925 “The Haunting Eyes”.
There’s also “Slippery Stevens” in REAL DETECTIVE TALES and MYSTERY STORIES – April 1925 and “The Silent Years” in ARGOSY ALL-STORY WEEKLY – Nov. 21, 1925, amongst other stories not in the Pulps.

Where else are you going to find this story besides here ? Surely not in any place that I know of.

I can’t say that it’s good, having proof-read it, but it can’t be any worse than other soupy, sappy stories in the Love Pulps. Oh, the drama !

Plus it’s historical, can’t say how much though, for the Pre-SPIDER/ RICHARD WENTWORTH reference !!!

THE POT of GOLD by Eudora Ramsay Richardson

— DICK’S Older Sister, Apparently Intent Upon Marrying Him Off to Money, Steers Both the Boy and Herself Into a Real Love Match —

DR. RICHARD WENTWORTH, 25 and consciously handsome in the uniform Uncle Sam prescribes for his army surgeons, sat stiffly on the edge of his sister’s bed. It was clear that the young doctor was distinctly unhappy.

“The woods around here are full of millionaires,” Jeanne Wentworth was saying with the flintlike edge to her voice which Richard had learned to dread. “The pages, for instance, have a country place near the hotel. There was a Page I might have married if I hadn’t fallen in love with an engaging smile and a lock of waving bronze hair. A cousin of these Pages, of course. Pages are all related.”

Jeanne sighed as she shook out a last year’s evening dress and slipped it over a hanger. Richard sighed, too, remembering his brother-in-law and the romance that had terminated when the philanderer’s wandering eye roamed elsewhere. Jeanne had been a celebrated beauty in those days, and she had changed little – crystallized as she was into the mode of the Gibson Girl. A vestigial pompadour still lingered in her hair. “A part would reveal streaks of gray,” she often explained, but Richard knew that the pompadour, like the skirts whose length still compromised with modernity and the cheeks and lips still innocent of rouge, constituted a heritage she could never abandon. For fifteen years this younger brother had been the pivot around which Jeanne Wentworth revolved. Richard did not remember his father, and the memory of his mother was a wraithlike thing kept alive by Jeanne. Yes, he owed his sister more than he could ever hope to repay; but marriage to a girl he did not love—surely Jeanne was asking too much.

“Maybe the Pages haven’t a daughter,” he suggested hopefully.

“There’s a Betty Lee Page I saw coming in from the golf links,” Jeanne countered. “All the Pages have Lee for a middle name, and all the Lees have Page.”

“Gosh, sis, Richard protested. “I want to marry for love.”

Jeanne wrung her hands in a momentary despair that was very genuine.

“Stop talking like all your destitute ancestors,” she begged. “I married for love. See how long love lasted. Mother married for love. When father died he left her $20,000 in life insurance and a house not quite paid for. Everything’s gone now but my pitiful alimony—and that’s mortgaged for a year at least. You can’t fail me now — after—after all the sacrifice that’s been made.”

JEANNE’S voice trailed into the little sob that always made Richard wriggle uncomfortably.

“You shouldn’t have done it,” he argued. “Four years at college, four years at medical school. I wanted to help.”

“Wait on the table, I suppose, or serve as steward in your frat house. I couldn’t have stood it. You’ve been my lifework, and I’ve made a fair Job of you. I tell you, Dick, there’s no happiness in poverty.”

“What about my making a little money when this internship is over ?”

“Don’t be funny !” Jeanne sniffed, if the delicate nose of a Gibson girl can be said to sniff. “A doctor making money ! You talk like all the Wentworths and Breckenridges—the sort of Southern gentlemen who need money and never make any. Try to fall in love with Betty Lee Page. Please, Dickie !”

Richard nodded soberly, though there was still doubt beneath the surface of his eyes. “All right,” he groaned. “There’s a good chance the heiress won’t want to buy a product like me.”

Jeanne’s eyes glowed with pride in her handiwork.

“I’d like to see the girl who would refuse you,” she said. “You’re the handsomest, sweetest thing that ever lived.”

Richard laughed boyishly. He liked his sisters compliments, but they embarrassed him.

“Too bad the estimate can’t be made unanimous,” he said.

“Well, slip into the white uniform, and we’ll see,” Jeanne urged. “There’s dancing in the hotel ballroom tonight. Betty Lee Page is sure to be on hand.”

The metamorphosis an evening gown effected in Betty Lee Page proved not at all baffling to Jeanne Wentworth’s trained eye.

“There she is,” Jeanne pointed out with a decorous nod in the direction of a group entering the ballroom. “Pages, all of them dashed with Lee. Look, Dick, at the blonde girl in the greenish chiffon.”

Richard looked and responded with the little thrill a pretty girl always sent through him.

“You win, sis,” he smiled. “What are we going to do about it?”

“My affair,” Jeanne replied. “Dance with Mrs. Harper-Smith, the plump dowager you met five minutes ago, and pause afterward near the palm in the corner. Betty Lee sees you already. The white uniform. Really you’re stunning in spite of the little twist football gave to your nose.”

As Richard moved toward mechanical obedience, he was conscious of feeling exceedingly foolish. Twenty-five and played by an older sister like a puppet on a chessboard ! If he were half a man he would stalk through those French doors out into the garden and declare his freedom to the reverberating hills. Halting indecisively, he caught sight of Jeanne surrounded by the newly arrived Pages. Jeanne of all people foisting herself upon strangers ! No, the old lady who wore black sequins and a white ostrich fan had brought about the introduction. Clever Jeanne ! Count on her to observe the proprieties! If he bolted through those open doors he would be free for the evening.

Then across the length of the ballroom his eyes met Betty Lee Page’s, and his quick decision reversed itself. The girl was lovely—exquisitely gold and white against green chiffon as cool and clear as a mountain stream. Not conventionally pretty, perhaps. Mouth a bit too wide but slanting upward at the corners delightfully. Nose with the slight patrician arch hardly according with the modern mode. But the figure. There really was no very good reason for disappointing Jeanne. So Richard danced obediently with Mrs. Harper-Smith and contrived to reach the palm just as the music gave pause to the dancers.

Dutifully he suffered Jeanne to lead him to Betty Lee Page, and forthwith forgot that Jeanne was on earth. Since his sister’s efforts in his behalf considerably antedated the vacation at the Springs, Richard had known many daughters of Croesus and had found them all spoiled little wretches with vision extending not an inch beyond the tips of their powdered noses.

BETTY LEE was distinctly different from the others. During all the dances that he gratefully bestowed upon her not once did she express any preference for uniforms or comment upon the deep cleft in his chin which Richard had hated many a girl for liking, or remarking that the music was heavenly and the floor divine. Amazingly she did not say that tall, dark men constituted her most recent weakness.

In fact, Richard decided, with momentary indulgence in similes, her conversation bore about as much resemblance to the chatter of other girls as the vibrations of a flivver to the purr of a straight eight. Not that Betty Lee talked a great deal. That was just it – she listened well and actually conveyed ideas when she spoke.

“I like this hotel,” she said. “There’s a cross-section of life here that you don’t find in other resorts.”

“Yes,” Richard agreed, “the Old South meeting the New.”

“Mingling with meat packers from the West and Northern soap magnates. Scarcely an American type missing.”

“Mr. Page, for instance, one of the last survivors of the old school, still doing the glide waltz—and with Mrs. Harper-Smith.”

Betty Lee’s smile utilized her eyes and lips and two flickering dimples. A very good smile, Richard decided.

“Cary Lee Page is an anachronism,” she said. “And so is your sister.; I’ve never met a live Gibson Girl before. Stepped from the cover of an old magazine, didn’t she ?”

“Jeanne’s cue sort that stays the same easily. There isn’t anything I can do about it.”

“Surely you wouldn’t want to. It’s people like her and Cary Lee Page and my artist friend on the hillside that make life interesting.”

“Your artist friend !”

Richard was angry with himself for the alarm that crept into his voice. Betty Lee’s laugh was reassuring, however.

“Don’t tell the Pages—but I sit all morning watching him paint. He lives alone without being lonely.”

“Where ?” Richard demanded almost sternly.

“Off the path that leads from the Page house straight up the mountain.”

“Tell the hermit his gallery is in danger of being enlarged.”

SOME one came then for a dance with Betty Lee. Afterward, though Richard felt that he pursued the girl as persistently as a fox terrier retrieves a bone repeatedly tossed from him by a playful boy, there was little chance for conversation.

After the orchestral “Home, Sweet Home” had scattered the dancers, Jeanne followed Richard into his room. Her face was drawn in its eagerness.

“You like her, Dickie; you could more than like her ?” she asked with the imploring quality in her voice which invariably sent shivers down Richard’s spine.

“Could speak feelingly on the subject,” he shrugged. “But an artist has the innings.”

Jeanne executed the very best sniff of which she was capable.

“An artist! What’s an artist compared with a doctor, an army surgeon in a white uniform ? Is the girl brainless ?”

“Diana sprang from the head of Jupiter. There’s the rub. Sense enough to be suspicious of fortune-hunting young men and their sisters. She spends her days in an artist’s cabin, watching the fellow daub colors on canvas.”

“Well find the cabin,” Jeanne announced, letting her jaws click together audibly.

“Really now, wouldn’t that be forcing Cupid’s hand ?”

There was a spasmodic tightening of the muscles in Jeanne’s face. Her gray eyes narrowed to tiny slits, with a glint that was almost feline in their depths.

“Forcing—oh, Dickie, forcing!” she echoed, her voice hard and cold like silver goblets clicking on a metal tray. “You’ve got to marry this girl.”

Richard crossed to the window that looked toward black hills against a purple sky. Betty Lee Page reduced by Jeanne to the sordid symbol of the dollar mark ! When he turned, however, Jeanne had gone, had slipped away because she must have sensed the drift of thoughts clamoring to be vocalized.

THERE was nothing surprising, of course, about Jeanne’s announcing the next morning that she had discovered the dwelling place of the hermit.

“His name is Robert Lasalle,” she told Richard. “Come with me. We’ll find him and perhaps Betty Lee.”

An autumn sun, cool and clear as massed topazes, spattered the path that wound toward the mountain. It seemed to Richard that there was something about Jeanne’s profile to suggest the determination of those reformers who had stood on soapboxes and carried hatchets for the furtherance of their causes. With a cinematic flash, a turn in the road revealed a cottage surrounded by wide flag terraces. Two splashes of color against a white background were recognizable in a moment as a girl in an orange sweater and a man wearing a smock of green. Betty Lee Page, with an easel before her, sat by the side of her artist, busily applying paints to canvas. Her hair was blowing misty-gold in the sunlight, and her face was flushed in its earnestness.

“Look,” whispered Jeanne, “the man isn’t young. Iron gray hair and deep lines in his face.”

Richard quickened his step and emitted a long, low whistle. Betty Lee Page looked up from her work.

“You are clever,” she called. “I thought you’d miss the trail. It wasn’t blazed for strangers.”

“You bet I didn’t miss the trail,” Richard laughed.

ROBERT LASALLE acknowledged the introduction with a growl resembling that of a caged bear whose midday meal was being interrupted. He looked the artist, however, with his rumbled hair, his scholarly stoop, and his long, slim fingers that worked nervously even when they were not holding the brush. Richard glanced toward the artist’s canvas. Robert Lasalle was painting a portrait of Betty Lee Page as she sat before her easel.

“I’m modeling in payment for lessons,” the girl explained. “I’ve learned more in this one vacation than in all the years I’ve studied.”

Richard crossed to Betty Lee’s easel. The canvas stretched there had caught the gorgeous warmth and color of the mountains in autumn.

“She didn’t do this—not alone !” gasped Jeanne.

“She did,” Robert Lasalle affirmed with a grunt that sounded almost approving.

Betty Lee laid down her brush and palette.

“I’m stiff from sitting so long. Let’s have a tramp to Sloans Cave,” she said.

“Not I,” Jeanne vetoed.

“I’m going to work,” Robert Lasalle growled again.

Richard took a moment to be sorry for Jeanne. She was used to courtesy from men—not to growls and grunts that ignored her presence. But Jeanne was unruffled. Then quickly Richard forgot Jeanne. Betty Lee was flashing down the mountain, a vivid splotch of orange merging into the autumn foliage. She turned into a trail that led upward, Richard at her heels. Single file they climbed to a clearing that overlooked a panoramic sweep of lowland. Betty Lee perched herself upon a rock and motioned Richard to a smooth spot beside her.

“What do you think of my artist ?” she asked.

“A grouchy old introvert who should be banished from society,” the young physician diagnosed ruthlessly.

“That grouch is his defense. It’s only skin deep.”

“I suppose some woman wronged him. That’s according to the precedents of fiction.”

Betty Lee nodded. “I’ve pieced the story together from facts everybody knows and from what Mr. Lasalle has let fall from time to time. The woman liked money and hated art. She couldn’t wait for Robert Lasalle’s work to be recognized. So she hounded him till he did commercial stuff which didn’t pay because it wasn’t even good commercial stuff. A real artist’s wouldn’t be, you know. Now she’s married a man who has money and nothing else.”

“And the heartbroken husband has fled to the hills to try to forget ?”

“Not heartbroken,” Betty Lee contradicted. “Merely trying to get a new start. He’s staging the biggest comeback you ever heard of.”

“How did you two find each other ?” Richards asked, intent upon keeping the conversation personal to Betty Lee.

“Each other ! Good heavens ! I found him and stuck like a leech. He tolerates me for some quality he seems to have found in my work.”

“It’s there in your canvas—that quality,” Richard agreed. “Though I’m no judge of art, I feel it. But imagine a man having to find it in order to bear your pretense ! Aren’t you a humorist ?”

BETTY LEE chose to ignore the compliment. As though suddenly remembering a duty overlooked, she jumped to her feet.

“We’d better rescue your sister,” she said. “If she disturbs Robert Lasalle, she may be torn into bits.”

When Richard and Betty Lee returned to the shack, however, the artist was before his canvas, painting with slow, steady strokes. Jeanne, silent and still, sat watching him. The look on Jeanne’s face was wholly new to Richard. The little worried lines had gone. That ageless peace that takes no account of time or place or the outcome of human endeavor seemed to have come to her.

“And the heartbroken husband has fled to the hills to try to forget ?”

“Not heartbroken,” Betty Lee contradicted. “Merely trying to get a new start. He’s staging the biggest comeback you ever heard of.”

“How did you two find each other ?” Richards asked, intent upon keeping the conversation personal to Betty Lee.

“Each other ! Good heavens ! I found him and stuck like a leech. He tolerates me for some quality he seems to have found in my work.”

“It’s there in your canvas—that quality,” Richard agreed. “Though I’m no judge of art, I feel it. But imagine a man having to find it in order to bear your pretense ! Aren’t you a humorist ?”

BETTY LEE chose to ignore the compliment. As though suddenly remembering a duty overlooked, she jumped to her feet.

“We’d better rescue your sister,” she said. “If she disturbs Robert Lasalle, she may be torn into bits.”

When Richard and Betty Lee returned to the shack, however, the artist was before his canvas, painting with slow, steady strokes. Jeanne, silent and still, sat watching him. The look on Jeanne’s face was wholly new to Richard. The little worried lines had gone. That ageless peace that takes no account of time or place or the outcome of human endeavor seemed to have come to her.

Silently the sister and brother retraced their steps down the mountain. On the veranda of the hotel Jeanne turned to Richard as though about to make a damning confession.

“Robert Lasalle is going to paint my portrait,” she said. “He wants it to hang by the side of Betty Lee Page’s. Said something about contrasting types. Sittings begin tomorrow morning.”

Jeanne paused, pensive for a moment, and then laughed in three or four strained metallic notes, as though to shake off a mood that annoyed her.

“Funny, isn’t it ?” she continued. “I agreed so that you could have Betty Lee to yourself. Work fast, sonny. Days are short, and life is fleeting.”

Richard turned away without replying. He was wondering if he had ever known the real Jeanne, wondering if his sister had not deliberately grown a crust to cover depths she would rather not have plumbed.

During the days that followed Richard Wentworth took no time to wonder about Jeanne. In the evenings he danced with Betty Lee Page in the hotel ballroom or strolled with her upon the terrace beneath an ornate October moon that burned like a giant orange in an inverted purple basket. In the morning he and Betty Lee rode through the hills on horses supplied from the Page stables. In the afternoons they played golf across the hotel links.

“This is my first vacation in years,” Betty Lee told Richard. “I meant to play all summer and instead I found Robert Lasalle and worked harder than ever. I’m glad he’s banished me.”

Richard looked at the girl hungrily as she rested slim arms upon the balcony, the soft oval of her face tilted upward that she might level her eyes with his. The earnest girls he had known—those in his classes at medical college, the conscientious nurses in the hospitals were all plain. The pretty girls who had crossed his path were never in the least earnest. Here was a girl who dangerously combined brains and the lure men found irresistible.

“You feel about art as I feel about medicine,” he said.

“You couldn’t be happy without it.”

“No—not without it. Work isn’t happiness, but for some of us there couldn’t be happiness without work. Tell me what you hope to do. I’ve wanted to hear.”

Boyish restraint was broken down as Richard told of ambitions that had lain abortive within him, of dreams to which he had never before given expression.

“You’ll be a great physician,” Betty Lee said gently, “but you’ll never be rich. Thank goodness, you’re not the sort of person who cares.”

THEN suddenly Richard Wentworth remembered the Page millions and was frightened. His tongue clove to the roof of his mouth, dry and feathery and cutting off the words he should have spoken. He and his sister were of that lowest of human species—fortune-hunters with their traps set for an heiress. He wanted this girl desperately. Perhaps she wanted him, too.

Some day she would find out why he and Jeanne had come to the Springs. Then she would hate him. He couldn’t stand to have Betty Lee hate him. If she were a pauper, he would still want her. He couldn’t go on like this, couldn’t bear the thought of having Betty Lee discover him later.

It was Betty Lee who finally broke the terrible silence. “If I don’t hurry, the Pages will be having dinner without me,” she said. Richard shouldered the two golf bags and walked with Betty Lee to the green-and-nickel roadster that waited near the hotel steps.

“I’m coming for you at 9,” he said. “You’ll be ready ?”

“Always when there’s dancing,” she replied. “Art isn’t my only passion. Dancing’s another.”

The car rounded the curving drive and shot into temporary oblivion. Richard hurried into the hotel and through the deserted lobby, like a man suddenly conscious of some new purpose in life. He found Jeanne standing before her mirror in a fluffy white frock that made her look more than ever like the reincarnation of Charles Dana Gibson’s ideal.

“I’m having dinner with Robert Lasalle on the mountain top,” she said, without meeting his eye.

“I don’t care what you’re doing,” the young man snapped. “You’ve done a lot for me, sis, but I can’t forgive you for making me a hopeless fool.”

“Think of the material I had to work with, dear.”

“The Wentworths and Breckenridges were at least honest, and we’re cheats.”

“And how ?”

“You’ve been trying to make me marry for money and not for love.”

“Have I succeeded ?”

“You have not. I’m in love with Betty Lee Page. I adore her—I—”

“Then why demolish me with your ravings ? You aren’t marrying for money after all.”

“I’m not marrying at all—not after I followed the rainbow for a pot of gold.”

“How flowery love makes you !” Jeanne said, with the semblance of a yawn. “Heredity is powerful. Wentworths and Breckenridges are always like that when similarly stimulated.”

“Now listen to me, sis. I’m through being treated like a kid,” Richard exploded. “I’m going to make a clean breast to Betty Lee Page. She’ll hear the state of our finances, why we came here—everything. Then she’s going to hate me—and I—I’m going to hell where I belong.”

JEANNE’S lips moved, but no sound was audible to Richard. As she covered her face with slim Victorian hands, Richard turned away and left the room, for the first time in his life adamant to his sister’s tears. Shortly before 9 that night Dr. Richard Wentworth in white flannels and blue coat that differentiated him not at all from the civilian guests in the hotel backed a second-hand flivver out of the row of cars parked just off the drive. He was making the first of the many defiant gestures planned for the evening. Jeanne had decreed that the terrible car which had conveyed the brother and sister to the Springs should be socially ostracized during the holiday.

As preliminary to the confession Richard had planned to make, Betty Lee and all the Pages must see the shabby vehicle and hear its raucous clatter—symbol as it was of the poverty to which the Wentworths had descended.

Unfortunately there was not a Page on the veranda when Richard banged on the brakes ready for the tragedy that would wreck his life. Betty Lee was waiting on the steps more alluring than ever in a white chiffon frock and a velvet wrap the color of the moon that would soon be rising over the mountains. Richard squared his jaw and swallowed hard against the lump in his throat. What he never could have he must try not to want with such devastating intensity.

“Can you ride in a coffee mill ?” he asked. “Even this is better than the Wentworths can afford.”

Betty Lee slipped through the open door before a helping hand could reach her.

“I’ve ridden many, times in worse and probably will many times again,” she said.

RICHARD stepped resolutely upon the clutch. The ancient vehicle lunged forward like an angry bronco, finally settling into a pace that combined all the disagreeable features of a gallop and a trot.

“We’re not going to dance just now.” Richard’s voice was cold and far away, like distant hammering upon steel framework. “Well ride, and I’ll talk. Please listen.”

“Of course,” came the sibilant whisper, while Richard looked straight ahead upon the road that unwound before him like white tape from a cardboard wheel.

“I love you,” he went on with a voice alien to the uses of lovers. “I love you so much that I think I can’t stand it.”

Betty Lee’s hand slipped over one of those that gripped the steering wheel, and Richard almost forgot his lines. “But—but,” he continued stoically, “I’m not going to ask you to marry me. We’ve got to the end of our rope—Jeanne and I. We’ve nothing on earth but debts, Jeanne’s absurd alimony and the pittance I make. We came to the Springs to find an heiress. You—you were the victim selected. You needn’t see me again. But loving you like this, I couldn’t go away without telling you. I couldn’t leave you wondering perhaps.”

The words trailed into silence. The old car clattered ceaselessly.

“You mean you wanted to marry me because of the Page money ?”

“Until I knew you. After that I loved you—loved you enough to tell you this and to make you hate me forever.”

“And nobody told you that my father was a distant cousin of Cary Lee Page’s, that I haven’t a cent in the world and never will have unless I earn it by painting pictures some one will buy, that Cousin Cary stumbled upon me by accident and decided to give me this vacation, and to make a thorough job of his charity ?”

Richard stopped the car with a perilous bang. “Are you telling me the truth ?” he demanded.

“If you and your sister had made the simplest investigation, you could have been saved time and trouble. I thought you knew. Every one else does.”

Flashes of lightning. Skyrockets bursting about him. Richard himself a meteor flashing through space. Betty Lee Page held tight against him, resisting at first, then resisting no longer. Betty Lee admitting that she loved him. The riotous moment ended in coherence at last.

“You will paint great pictures,” said Richard. “I will try to be a good doctor. Together—always.”

“Your sister! ” Betty Lee faltered. “Poor Jeanne !”

“We’ll tell her now. That much is due her. She’s with your artist.”

THEY drove to the foot of the trail and climbed upward, stones scarring Betty Lee’s silver slippers, underbrush snagging the chiffon on her dress. A long light trailing through the windows of the shack. Voices coming clear through the silence of the night. With an arm about Betty Lee, Richard paused shamelessly to listen. Robert Lasalle was speaking.

“I shouldn’t have told you,” he was saying. “I have nothing to offer but a name that may some day mean something. What I’m making now is enough for the mountain top but not for the valleys where others live.”

Jeanne’s reply came in staccato jerks. “l want the mountain. I’ve lived so long in the valley. When Wentworths and Breckenridges love, there’s no use resisting. Dick will marry the little Page girl who has nothing but her art —and I’ll marry you, Robert Lasalle. Since the first night at the hotel I’ve known that Betty Lee was not the Page heiress. It doesn’t matter. We have our rainbows—the sort that never lead to pots of gold.”

Richard Wentworth held Betty Lee Page close and was silent. Later he would go in to Jeanne and the artist— but not just then—for Jeanne’s sake and his own.

SPIDER - August 1941 ''The Spider and the Scarlet Surgeon'' I had to stay with the Doctor theme

SPIDER – August 1941 ”The Spider and the Scarlet Surgeon”
I had to stay with the Doctor theme


— END —

Jamaica NY Long Island Daily Press 1932

That paper’s small print says “Copyright by Public Ledger”

(probably not now, but we’re not making any money off it).

ENJOY PULPS – David Lee Smith

(“Where else are you going to find this story”… truthfully, the 1ST edition (had to keep the newspaper theme going) showed up at my Group first, Oct. 2015). If it wasn’t printed here now it probably would have been great for an issue of Girasol Collectables The SPIDER reprints or a PULPSTER.

Pulps Pricings Sales Census

Hello all Pulp Magazine Collectors, Readers, Buyers, etc… you know who you are.

My introduction to Pulp Magazines:
When comics priced me out of their range the value/fun just wasn’t there for continuing collecting new issues. I quit at $1.50 or so (1988 and 10,000 plus issues). New issues today go for around $2.00 – $3.00 plus for 16-24 pages, so JUST 4 issues would cost about $8.00 – $12.00 and up. When I started in 1976 they were 30 cents. Golden Age comics are out of most collectors reach now.

During that 1976-’77 period I’d heard about these things called old “Pulp” magazines that “disintegrated in your hands as you read them” from Conan the Barbarian/Savage Sword of Conan, Kull, and their paperbacks (R.E.H. horror series like “Black Canaan” (love “The House in the Oaks” and “People of the Black Coast”), and the Doc Savage B&W Marvel comic magazine (last 2) .

Black Canaan 1978Black Canaan 1978 frontpiece bDOC SAVAGE #7DOC SAVAGE #8

I decided that some day when I had the money that I’d actually own some these ‘things’.

In upstate New York one sees nothing of that type around and I never had a chance to get any Pulps until 2008 when we got our first computer. From there I FOUND eBAY.

My first Pulps were JUNGLE STORIES – April 1943 (Ki-Gor), PHANTOM DETECTIVE, BLACK BOOK DETECTIVE (Black Bat) – Sept. – 1941, then many more after that. For the ‘Black Bat’ I had seen an article in some comics fan magazine (Comics Scene/Comics Preview ???) with the title “The Other Batman,” which made me want to look into this character. I’m not sure if Will Murray wrote it or not as I can’t find the magazine and I’d really like to re-read the article.
In just 8 years my Pulp collection is at around 2,250 – 2,500 issues. From collectors that have been at it since the 1950’s and ’60’s (even the 1970’s) I’m barely a new-born stumbling out of the crib. I won’t even mention collectors like Walker Martin, Nick “Wooda” Carr or Al Tonik.

I’m always fascinated when prices seem to be on the ‘extreme’ side, either high or low (mostly high). Especially for Scarce to Very Rare titles that most collectors probably never see. It’s probably from my comic buying days and Overstreet’s listings of Scarce to Rare items. I’m hoping others will be interested in what certain issues go for also…High grade issues going for low money, beat (Fair) issues going for extremely high (relative) prices, and those in-between.

For terms of “Scarcity” and values I use “Bookery’s Guide to Pulps and Related Magazines“.
Also, for “Pulps” I’ll use the regular Pulp-size issues, Bed-sheets (‘slicks’), and digest. Examples: SCARLET ADVENTURESS, AMAZING DETECTIVE STORIES, FLYING STORIES (the first 14 Macfadden Publications issues were not Pulp-sized but bedsheets like the later FLYING ACES), The POCKET MAGAZINE, SWIFT STORY MAGAZINE will all be treated the same. If it’s in ADVENTURE HOUSE GUIDE To The PULPS or BOOKERY then it’s good for listing.

Adventure House Guide to the Pulps 1Bookery's Guide to Pulps and Related Magazines 463

At times a few extras will be thrown in, like Pulp Premiums (“The Shadow Ring”, “Friends of the Phantom” (Detective) Badge/Pin, Doc Savage Pin), Pulp author autographs, manuscripts, photographs, Original Pulp Paintings. Maybe even a PEP, SILK STOCKINGS, SPICY, but they’d have to be extra special.

If it wasn’t stated, these statics would be for actual sales items, not issues that have been sitting in some dealers inventory for years with high prices. Also I’ll list off only the prolific authors in an issue, and the story title if it’s interesting. I could just copy off the whole The FictionMags Index  contents for an issue but that’s what that site is for and I don’t want to take away from all of Phil Stephensen-Payne’s hard work there. By “prolific authors” I mean if the author’s output takes up 3/4 or more of a FictionMags page then they are prolific. This may include their real name and any number of pseudonyms to reach that amount. An example from a sample BLUE BOOK MAGAZINE issue: Clarence Herbert New (never heard of) has 2 pages worth of stories (his “Free Lances in Diplomacy” series).

Some of the photographs originally may have been too dark, light, uncropped, etc. so I had to ‘tweak’ them as best as I could. I’m not a professional, or anywhere near so with computers, and resort to using “Windows Live Photo Gallery” editing/cropping and “Paint” for re-sizing. If an image is just too blurry or small I’ll have to use the image at Galactic Central, and state that’s where it came from.

In much the same way as I enjoy reading Walker Martin’s postings, because, even at his ‘young’ age, his notes have that “Gosh – wow !” quality about them. At my own age I also have that “By golly, gee-whiz” fanboy feeling when I talk about, write,or receive a new Pulp package in the mail.

So to try out my first Posting, or is it Blog:


The Phantom Detective (July 1942)

Here’s one I hope someone can explain to me.

PHANTOM  DETECTIVE – July 1942 recently sold on eBay for $182.50 !!!

It’s not even an early 1930’s issue and there’s nothing special author-wise from the FictionMags index.

“Condition: Very Good”; that’s all there is for the condition.

Not even High Grade.

Authors: “The Medieval Murders” by Robert Wallace (this time really by Henry Kuttner).

It’s not the first Kuttner has done a Phantom story: “The Sabotage Murders” in PHANTOM DETECTIVE – July 1941. It also contains a short story by J. Lane Linklater (pseudonym of Alexander William Watkins).

Bookery says the Sept. 1940 is Scarce, April and Dec. 1942 as Scarcer, and April 1941 as the Scarcest 1940’s issue.

Bookery has $12.00 – $30.00 – $60.00 for this July 1942 issue.

My copy only set me back $5.00 and 29 cents which is why I didn’t understand the $182.50 !!!

ENJOY PULPS – David Lee Smith