More Souls for Hell
The Spider, a vigilante character created by Harry Steeger in 1933 to rival The Shadow , is one of those classic pulp fiction heroes that excites the imagination. Dressed in a black cape, slouch hat and vampire makeup, The Spider’s true identity was Richard Wentworth, a New York-based millionaire playboy untouched by the Depression Era who had decided to give back by going after the city’s criminal element. The Spider Magazine ran from 1933 until 1943, but was reborn in the early 1970s when Pocket Books reprinted four Spider novels. Since then, numerous Spider publications have been produced by a number of different publishing companies.
In 2007, Moonstone Books published an original anthology of new Spider short stories and CJ Henderson was one of the contributors. The anthology was successful and a new Spider series was born. CJ Henderson has been contributing new Spider stories ever since. I recently had the opportunity to check out one such short story, More Souls for Hell, reprinted on CJ Henderson: The Official Site as a part of their "March Madness" promo.
More Souls for Hell features Ram Singh, Richard Wentworth’s Sikh manservant in a very prominent role. With Wentworth out of town on vacation with his girlfriend, a group of low-level mobsters decide that his mansion is ripe for the picking. After all, the only occupants left at the estate are an ancient butler, a manservant and Wentworth’s Harlequin Great Dane. The job would be easy, especially since the foolish millionaire hadn’t bothered to install any security measures and their nemesis, The Spider, was out of town harassing the criminal underworld in San Francisco.
But as the mobsters converge on Wentworth’s estate, they soon learn that they have severely underestimated the security measures in place - Ram Singh is much more than a manservant. A deadly knife thrower and well-practiced in the art of self-defense, Ram Singh is better than any security alarm and with the Great Dane Apollo at his side, just deadly as The Spider.
I thoroughly enjoyed this fifteen page action-packed tale. Who needs to read about The Spider when his manservant is just as cunningly innovative and deadly. More Souls for Hell is not for the faint of heart as there is a great deal of violence and blood to be found in the story, but action fans will have a great deal of fun reading this tale. CJ Henderson’s writing is incredibly descriptive and as I read the story, I could picture everything in my head as if I were watching an action short in the movies. Spider fans will be thrilled with this tale starring Richard Wentworth’s right hand man and action fans will love the way the fight scenes come to life.
Special thanks to CJ Henderson: The Official Site for reprinting this tale and exposing me to The Spider. Thanks to CJ Henderson, I have become a Spider fan.