Dulltown, Europe: Today’s adjectives are: ‘Parallel’, ‘Brobdingnagian’, ‘Convoluted’, and ‘Febrile’.
Please try to use at least two of these words in conversation today.
‘Could an Egyptian curse travel across the world and the centuries?’
Well, I think that the answer to that question is… ‘No…’
But yes… this is another ‘Badger Book’ from my modest collection – a series of great British pulp science fiction and supernatural thrillers from the early 1960s. This one is by R.L. Fanthorpe, this time using his real name, rather than one of his many colourful pseudonyms. (Trebor Thorpe, Bron Fane, Pel Torro, Deuterio Spartacus, Karl Ziegfried…)
Let’s have a quick look at the back cover and see what we have in store:
‘What forbidden knowledge lurks behind the inscrutable eyes of Nephthys, Guardian of the Dead?
What dreadful secrets are revealed when the seals around the lid of the sarcophagus are broken?
Do the falcon-headed gods Horus and Set still walk the earth?
Do the carnivorous fangs of the weird Anubis still seek human blood?
Does Mont, the macabre bull-headed god still hold sinister sway in the forgotten corners of the Delta?
Mm… some very good questions…
I like the sound of ‘sinister sway in the forgotten corners of the Delta‘ – I might look that up as a tourist destination later…
Still, the front cover is rather good isn’t it?
It is painted (and signed) by the usual Badger artist ‘Fox’. I see he has his favourite lady in distress (not his usual redhead, but blonde this time) surprisingly loosely tied to a post – you’d think that those ancient evil spirits would be able to tie better knots than that! After a brief glance into the text I suspect that our ‘girl’ is called Lucy Bellenger; she’s doing a great job of writhing and flicking her nice hair around, oh and just managing to keep her dress on; but, hang on… isn’t that an odd looking dress? I particularly like that diaphanous cone that she has as a skirt. Perhaps she was having a glass of Babycham at a swinging ’60s party when she was unexpectedly spirited away to this ghastly stinking lair?
Look out Lucy, keep writhing, there’s a great big green cobra slithering up – and it’s got a mean look on its face! Oh, and by the way Miss Bellenger, don’t look now, but there’s a very large squatting chap behind you, who coincidentally is also green… What is he doing with his arms? Perhaps he has itchy shoulders, or is he a bit chilly? A very strange posture…
Actually he doesn’t look very ancient Egyptian, even his hat looks wrong. Fox probably couldn’t be bothered going to the local library to get a book out on ancient Egypt to copy from. Are those the beast’s chess pieces to the right – perhaps the ‘girl’ is just a pawn in his evil game?…
Let’s have a random sample of the writing. This is from page 34:
‘The telephone on Claud Kingston’s voluminous desk rang shrilly, jarringly, and stridently. Strong fingers clasped over the receiver with the ease of long practice.
There was no answer.
“Kingston here. What’s the matter?” he rattled the receiver...
Suddenly there was a demonic laugh, a laugh as though all the devils in hell had seen some huge cosmic joke at his expense.
The receiver fell away from his hand.
“Who the blazes is that?” roared Kingston.
“We are the Deathless Ones.” came the reply…’