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X Shadow Volume 6 [Pulp Reprint] #5011
The Shadow Volume 6
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Product Code: 5011

The Shadow
Volume 6

Pulp fiction's legendary Knight of Darkness returns in two of his most engrossing adventures. In "The Shadow's Justice" (1933), a classic tale of intrigue, lost treasure and murder showcasing The Shadow's brand of deadly justice, the Dark Avenger journeys to Havana to tip the scales of justice in favor of the law. Then, in "The Broken Napoleons", the Master of Darkness confronts the mysterious criminal Levantour, known as The Vulture, who leaves a Napoleonic coin at the scene of his crimes. This series entry leads off with one of George Rozen's most iconic pulp covers, includes all the original interior art by acclaimed illustrator Tom Lovell, and also features historical commentary by popular culture historians Will Murray and Anthony Tollin.
Special Feature:
John Olsen Reviews the Stories in The Shadow #6
Review written and copyrighted by John Olsen; used with permission

"The Shadow's Justice" was published in the April 15, 1933 issue of The Shadow Magazine. It's an early Shadow tale that shows us The Shadow at his most deadly. His blasting .45's never miss. He shoots; he scores! And there's one less gangster to worry the police.

This is the story of young Carter Boswick and his search for his inheritance. It's the story of a conspiracy to murder him and collect the millions by the forces of evil. It's the story of The Shadow who enters the picture to not only safeguard young Carter, not only discover the hiding place of the treasure, but unmask the hidden mastermind behind the sinister scheme and put an end to his evil ways.

As our story opens, Farland Tracy, attorney at law, enters the old mansion of Houston Boswick. Tracy is still in his forties, firm-faced, square-jawed and stalwart with a dynamic air combined with self-assurance. Houston Boswick, owner of the mansion, is aged and weary. He's a man past sixty whose thin face marks him as one who has lost all former initiative.

The two meet in Boswick's second-floor study. Away from the prying ears of his servant Headley and his nephew Drew Westling, the two feel free to discuss old Houston Boswick's financial affairs. But little do they realize that ears are listening in on them. Two pairs of ears! One from outside the study door, and another pair outside the second-floor window.

The Shadow clings to the rough stone wall outside the study window, hanging far above the ground. Clinging bat-like to the side of the building, the weird phantom of the night overhears the secret conversation. But he's not the only one. Young nephew Drew Westling, slight of form, sallow of complexion and drooping in appearance, crouches outside the study door, also listening.

Old Houston Boswick tells his attorney that he hasn't long to live. He accepts the fact, but lives with one final hope: his son's return. Ten years before, young Carter Boswick had left to seek his fortune, traveling to many parts of the world. Old Houston has just received a letter from Carter stating that he is returning home. He should arrive in two weeks. But Houston feels he will not live to greet his son.

Houston Boswick entrusts two letters to his lawyer. One is for his son. The other is for his nephew. If young Carter returns as planned, Farland Tracy the attorney is to give him his letter and destroy the second one. But if, by some chance, he should not return, then the second letter is to be given to Drew Westling, the nephew.

The contents of the two letters are nearly identical. They give the heir hints as to the hiding place of his secret wealth. Old Houston Boswick has hidden away the majority of his wealth. To the world at large, Houston Boswick is worth about a million dollars. But unknown to the world, old Boswick has amassed ten times that amount and hidden it in some unknown spot.

Thus begins our tale of intrigue and mystery. It starts in the New Jersey mansion of Houston Boswick. It then moves to Havana, Cuba where young Carter Boswick stops off on his way home from Montevideo. There, attempts are made on his life. Attempts that are thwarted by The Shadow.

Our tale then moves aboard the Southern Star steamship as young Carter Boswick continues his travels homeward. But the danger has not passed. Whoever is out to kill young Carter continues to scheme. The Shadow must intervene once again, on the slippery decks of the ocean-bound steamship.

Will Carter Boswick return home safely, or will he meet his doom at the hands of persons unknown? Will he find the ten-million-dollar treasure, or will it fall to young Drew Westling? And what is the strange clue that leads to the hiding spot of the millions? Can even The Shadow find the secret location of old Houston Boswick's inheritance? The answers to these and more questions will all be found within this great early Shadow pulp mystery.

In this story, The Shadow appears most of the time as his black-clad self, with black gloves, cape and slouch hat. He briefly appears in disguise as Lamont Cranston, since the real Cranston is conveniently out of the country. And he also appears disguised as a Cuban thug named Herrando. But these disguises are only used sparingly.

Assisting The Shadow in this story is his secret agent Harry Vincent. He's the only agent to appear in this story. Contact man Burbank and investment broker Rutledge Mann are mentioned once, but don't actually appear. Nor do any law-enforcement officers appear. No mention is made of regulars Joe Cardona, Commissioner Weston or federal agent Vic Marquette.

It's interesting to note that in this story, The Shadow scales the outside of a building with his bare hands. Actually, gloved, not bare! He doesn't use those strange rubber disks that allow him to cling to stone walls. The suction cups had been introduced nearly a year before in "The Crime Cult" and had appeared in three other pulp novels since then, one just a month previously. But for some reason, Walter Gibson decided not to write them into this story.

It's also worth noting that once again The Shadow shows his careless disregard for his .45 automatics. In the heat of battle, he drops them to the floor when they are emptied, and whips out another pair from the folds of his black cloak. But he never bothers to retrieve the dropped pair. He just leaves them there. Since this seems to happen in many Shadow mysteries, it gives one pause to wonder about all the firearms left unclaimed for anyone to pick up. In the real world, this would seem to be a most irresponsible thing to do. But in this special pulp world, perhaps they are always picked up by the police in an ensuing, but unmentioned, investigation.

The Shadow's famous autogiro makes another appearance here. It first appeared in "The Death Tower" over a year previously. It appears here again, not just as a gratuitous appearance, but actually plays an important part in the discovery of the hiding place of the treasure. Without the autogiro, The Shadow would not have found it!

One final note, in this story we get to learn one more tidbit of information about Harry Vincent. We are told that Harry seldom dreams. Just a casual comment. But helps add to the somewhat slim information we possess about The Shadow's main agent.

"The Broken Napoleons" was originally published in the July 15, 1936 issue of The Shadow Magazine. The Napoleons in the story title refer to the gold coins minted by the French. But these coins are special. Not just any gold Napoleons, these are dated 1815 and have been broken in half. They are a symbol of death; death by a mysterious mastermind known only as Levautour.

Levautour is the villain in this story. Levautour is French for le vautour; translated, that means 'the vulture.' He's a master criminal who has swindled men of wealth out of millions. He has also sent death to over twenty of his victims. The broken Napoleons are his tokens of death; death to the men who receive it. And the other half of the coins? He keeps them, like notches on a gun, to remember how many he has killed.

Our story opens as Curt Sturley, an engineer who had once been crooked and then gone straight, is being tempted to again enter into crime. Sturley's father had been swindled, disgraced, and forced to commit suicide. He was a victim of Levautour. Sturley wants to track Levautour down and seek vengeance. To achieve this end, he joins Butch Drongo's mob. Butch Drongo has one of the broken Napoleons, and knows its mysterious source.

Butch Drongo is killed during the robbery of the East Side Trust Co., and Sturley, his lieutenant, takes over leadership of the mob. But he's mob boss only briefly before being captured by The Shadow. He awakes aboard The Shadow's ship, the Reciprocity.

Yes, The Shadow has a ship! You knew he owned a mansion. You knew he owned a limousine. You knew he owned an autogyro. But you never knew he owned a ship! The Reciprocity's an old, rust-covered steamship, built fifteen years ago. It had found a haven in the "ghost fleet" of the upper Hudson - the graveyard of ships too good to scrap, but not worth operating. The Shadow bought it and renovated the black ship to help Slade Farrow transport criminals to his "colony."

Slade Farrow was first introduced in "The Green Box" in the March 15, 1934 issue of The Shadow Magazine. He is one of The Shadow's few friends, and is the only person who knows the true identity of The Shadow (not counting the two Xinca servitors). He has recently created a rehabilitation colony for criminals on a cluster of tropical isles, where necessities have been provided, where there is work for men to do; where money is absent; where fight for possession is not needed.

Curt Sturley is aboard the Reciprocity on the way to Slade Farrow's colony. He sits down in Farrow's cabin, and has a long discussion with Farrow and The Shadow. At the discussion's end, he has forsaken crime, and agrees to become an agent of The Shadow. Curt Sturley, deposed from the big-shot glory that he has not sought, is again a man of honor. He is in the service of The Shadow!

The second half of the story takes place on the yacht Nepenthe and follows Sturley as he aids The Shadow in his search for the mysterious Levautour. They only know that Levautour is someone aboard the yacht. The Nepenthe is owned by Hubert Craylon. He spends his winters in Bermuda which is where The Shadow sends Sturley to board the yacht as a guest of Lord Basil Jenley.

At this point, Sturley becomes our proxy hero. As guest on the yacht, he must closely watch the other guests. There is Gregg Lownden, a westerner, a magnate, a mine owner. There's Hubert Craylon, owner of the Nepenthe and a millionaire in his own right. There's Count Louis Surronne, a wealthy Frenchman who claims to be in love with Craylon's daughter Diana. And then there's Leigh, the stealthy steward who's been recently hired for the trip. One of them must surely be Levautour, and Sturley must assist The Shadow is discovering the identity of the master villain.

In the first half of the story, we see familiar characters Cliff Marsland, Burbank, Hawkeye, Moe Shrevnitz, and Lamont Cranston. After that, the action is focused solely on Curt Sturley and his adventures aboard the Nepenthe.

It's a great story that shows The Shadow rehabilitating a criminal, giving him a second chance to live a clean, straight life.

John Olsen was first introduced to The Shadow in the early 1960's, tuning in to rebroadcasts of his adventures on KEX radio in Portland, Oregon. Several years later, John was drawn to a hardback book entitled "The Weird Adventures of The Shadow," containing three Shadow novels reprinted from the old pulp magazines. The pulp Shadow was a far different character from the beloved radio version, but the stories drew him in and opened his eyes to a richer version of the hero. Today, John is retired in Sherwood, Oregon. He has read all 325 of the old Shadow pulp mysteries and enjoys them so much that, as of this writing, he is well over half way through reading them all again for a second time.

Average Customer Review: Average Customer Review: 4.5 of 5 4.5 of 5 Total Reviews: 3 Write a review

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 Complete Shadow Reprints Library February 15, 2019
Reviewer: Michael Haag from Bay Area California  
I purchased ALL of the Reprints of the SHADOW Double Volume Set. Each and every one is very well done, and is a treasury of stories, information, and ads. This set is a genuine MUST HAVE for any SHADOW fan. And the quality of the cover art, both front and back, is highly professional.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 December 26, 2018
Reviewer: Wesley B Fields from Kingsport, TN United States  

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
4 of 5 Shadow Volume 6 December 19, 2018
Reviewer: Stephen Schmehl from Saint Louis, MO United States  
Love the quality of the book, the quick delivery,
and the great price.

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