The Spider #13 Audiobook
Builders of the Black Empire
by Norvell W. Page writing as Grant Stockbridge
Read by Nick Santa Maria
By what strange twist of Fate did the fearful menace which was to shadow every man and woman in New York City first rear its venomous head in the distant Caribbean? When terror suddenly boarded a little tramp steamer and left crimson havoc littering its narrow decks a spluttering wireless flashed the doom of every living thing aboard. Within a week, the same ghastly fate struck a gigantic new ocean liner, its luxurious cabins occupied by the elite and powerful of a dozen different nations! Death — swift and terrible — rode the ocean lanes. And the Spider — taken for once off guard — was supposedly dying in a hospital room on the very day when that terror from the seas first showed itself in all its terror above the city skyline. How can the Spider, fighting death himself, help the nation he loves in her hour of greatest need?
The great pulp magazines of the 1930s and 40s produced a number of heroes, but none as action-oriented as the Spider. From October 1933 to December 1943, the Spider was the scourge of the Underworld, doling out his own particular brand of justice and imprinting his dreaded red Spider seal on the foreheads of those he has killed for the good of mankind.
The Spider followed the established pulp pattern of a wealthy man-about-town, Richard Wentworth III, master of disguise, dilettante of the arts, in perfect physical condition, and completely devoted to the pursuit of justice for the down-trodden, no matter what the cost to himself or loved ones. Secretly donning a decrepit black hat, a tattered black cape, a false hunch to his shoulders, a lank wig of stringy hair, an application of sinister face makeup and a pair of .45 automatics, Wentworth prowls the streets of New York as his alter-ego the Spider, chasing down criminal masterminds bent on enslaving or destroying humanity.
Nick Santa Maria reads Builders of the Black Empire with all the intensity of his superb talent. Originally published in The Spider magazine, October, 1934.
Chapter 1: Loot of the Sea
Chapter 2: The Spider’s Web
Chapter 3: The Spider Is Captured
Chapter 4: Pirate Mercy
Chapter 5: The Trail of Doom
Chapter 6: Treachery!
Chapter 7: Death on the Rocks
Chapter 8: The Spider Falls
Chapter 9: Havoc Reigns
Chapter 10: To the Consulate!
Chapter 11: Ram Singh Calls
Chapter 12: In the Pirate Prison
Chapter 13: Forward — Or Die!
Chapter 14: The Whip of Oriano
Chapter 15: On to Washington!
Chapter 16: The Pirate Squadron
Chapter 17: Washington Monument
Nick Santa Maria Nick was born early in life in Brooklyn, NY. His theatrical background is based in Comedy Improv. He was a long standing member of the late lamented Miami based, Mental Floss, where he served as head writer/composer. From there he began his career in commercials, voice-overs, TV, Film, and theatre. He has performed in many roles on the stage including his award winning turn as Nick in Over The River And Through The Woods, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, in The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee as Mr. Panch (3-D Theatricals), Mr. Bromhead in No Sex Please, We’re British at The Norris, and as Pseudolus in, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the Norris Theatre. Television: The Buffalo Bill Show, B.J. Stryker, and two Disney Christmas Specials. Off Broadway: Writer/Composer/Performer on Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know, Soundtrack on RCA Victor. Broadway: Vince Fontaine in Tommy Tune’s production of Grease. He also appeared in every domestic company of Mel Brooks’ The Producers, understudying everyone from Nathan Lane and Jason Alexander, to Tony Danza and David Hassellhoff. He was the original Genie in Disney’s Aladdin, a Musical Spectacular, soundtrack on Disney Records. Nick is a resident of Los Angeles and is currently writing a book about classic film comedians, Nick’s been a long time film historian, and has written several articles on the topic. |