January 14, 1930
THE TOURNAMENT OF THE TREASURE
On Papeete, Sailor Steve Costigan takes shore leave from the Sea Girl. He runs into his old sparring partner Ned Dargan at an athletic club. Dargan tells Steve that he’s been hired to take part in a tournament, and that he has seen Butch “Slug” O’Leary and Mullargan in town. The men who hired Dargan are named Gutman and Cairo. Steve and Dargan go to the American Bar to meet Dargan’s clients, as well as Steve’s shipmates Bill O’Brian and Sven Larson. They are accosted by a woman named Virginia Harper, who tells them that Gutman and Cairo have her husband. A woman named Madame Ingomar has some sort of power over both Virginia’s husband, Townsend Harper, and the Harpers’ Chinese cook, Sing Lee. Entering the American Bar after O’Brian and Larson come out of it somewhat the worse for wear, Steve spots a retired British fighter named “Seaman” Pallant seated at a corner table with Gutman and Cairo, Fatala and her companion Bebert, and Ingomar. Harper, who prefers to be called Bulan, is the one who attacked Steve’s shipmates. Fatala and her associates have stolen the treasure of Colonel Bozzo-Corona, the head of a criminal organization. The member of the group whose champion wins the tournament will receive all of the treasure. Mullargan is the champion of a small man named Oden. Jack Holligan is fighting for a European named Marius, while a ship’s captain named Bull Dawson is fighting for himself. Sing Lee is a member of the secret society called the Si-Fan. Holligan has been compared to Ace Jessel. Sing Lee tells Steve that some believe Fatala is Fantômas come back in female form. He also reveals that Bulan was created in a laboratory by Professor Maxon, Virginia’s father. Sing Lee inserted cell samples from the real Townsend Harper, who drowned, into Bulan at the orders of Madame Ingomar’s father.
Short story by Matthew Baugh in Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 9: La Vie en Noir, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2012; reprinted in French in Les Compagnons de l’Ombre (Tome 13), Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2014. Sailor Steve Costigan is the protagonist of a series of stories by Robert E. Howard; Bill O’Brian and Sven Larson serve with him aboard the Sea Girl. Ace Jessel is the protagonist of Howard’s stories “The Apparition in the Prize Ring” and “Double Cross.” Ned “Angel” Dargan is an ally of Frederick C. Davis’ pulp hero the Moon Man. Butch O’Leary is an ally of Norman Daniels’ pulp adventurer the Black Bat; here, he is conflated with Slug O’Leary from “Eando Binder’s” (Earl and Otto Binder) story “Adam Link, Robot Detective.” This crossover brings Adam Link into the CU. “One-Punch” Mullargan is from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan and the Champion.” Townsend Harper (aka Bulan), Professor Maxon and his daughter Virginia, and Sing Lee are from Burroughs’ novel The Monster Men. In the novel, Bulan initially believes that he is Maxon’s creation, but discovers that he is really Townsend Harper; here, it is revealed that he was indeed created by Maxon using cells from the real Harper. Gutman and Cairo are Casper Gutman and Joel Cairo from Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. Madame Ingomar is Fu Manchu’s daughter, Fah Lo Suee; she used the Ingomar alias in Sax Rohmer’s Daughter of Fu Manchu and The Trail of Fu Manchu. The Si-Fan is the secret society run by Fu Manchu. “Seaman” Pallant is from The Drums of Fu Manchu. Fatala and Bebert appear in a series of novels by Marcel Allain. Fantômas is a criminal mastermind created by Allain and Pierre Souvestre. Colonel Bozzo-Corona is the head of the Black Coats in novels by Paul Féval. Oden is meant to be Cadwiller Olden from the Doc Savage novel Repel (aka The Deadly Dwarf.) Jack Holligan is an ally of Paul Alfred Müller’s German pulp hero Sun Koh, who has sometimes been referred to as “the Nazi Doc Savage.” Marius is Rayt Marius from Leslie Charteris’ The Last Hero, Knight Templar, and The Misfortunes of Mr. Teal, featuring Simon Templar, alias the Saint.
Matthew Baugh originally mention his theory that Sailor Steve Costigan met Townsend Harper in his article Sailor Steve and the Iron Men. I'm glad he was able to write this story and make it "official."ReplyDelete