THE MARK OF THE RED LEECH
Private Henry Jones Junior is scolded for journaling by Captain Dickson, whom Colonel Renwick respects. Jones’ journal entry refers to Pvt. Simpson. Dickson refers to Captain Spencer and the others, and doubts that they will see Captain Ulysses Paxton again in this world. Jones says that his father has met Dickson’s famous mentor. The mark left on the corpses of a group of soldiers reminds Dickson of something in his mentor’s files called the red leech, a case which his biographer never published. A maddened Major Richard Wentworth attacks Dickson and the others, but is subdued and calmed down. The killer proves to be the vampire Sir Francis Varney. Dickson says that Dracula is real. Varney is killed by a man named Isaac, who is accompanied by a little girl. Several groups were investigating the soldiers’ deaths, including one led by Colonel Renwick and one including Colonel Wyndham-Price.
Short story by Travis Hiltz in Harry Dickson vs. the Spider, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2014. Private Henry Jones Junior is better known as Indiana Jones. Captain Dickson is detective Harry Dickson, from pulp stories by Jean Ray and others. Colonel John “Renny” Renwick will later become one of Doc Savage’s five aides. Pvt. Simpson is meant to be an ancestor of the titular family from the animated sitcom The Simpsons. However, The Simpsons is too absurd in its events to comfortably take place in the CU. Most likely, there is a Simpson family in the CU, but they have had very different misadventures from their cartoon counterparts. Also, they almost certainly do not have yellow skin and only four fingers. Captain Eliot Spencer will later become the Cenobite known as Pinhead, as seen in the movie Hellraiser, based on Clive Barker’s story “The Hellbound Heart,” and its sequels. Captain Ulysses Paxton is from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars novels. Dickson’s mentor is Sherlock Holmes. Dr. Watson referred to Holmes’ involvement in “the repulsive story of the Red Leech” in “The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez.” Major Richard Wentworth will later fight crime as the Spider. Sir Francis Varney is from James Malcolm Rymer’s Varney the Vampire. Dracula needs no introduction at this point. Isaac Laquedem (aka the Wandering Jew) and the little girl (Lotte) are from Paul Féval’s novel The Wandering Jew’s Daughter. Despite the different spellings, Colonel Wyndham-Price is meant to be an ancestor of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce from the television series Angel.
I have to question the date given here. On the TV series the Young Indiana Chrinicles Indy did not join the military until 1916 so a 1914 date would be incorrect.ReplyDelete
You're right. I just moved the entry to 1916, and noted that the 1914 date assigned to the story must be incorrect.Delete
There's no way Indy was involved in WWI in 1914. His adventures during 1914 are pretty well documented (http://www.dinojim.com/Cultural/ChronologyHaven/Indiana_Jones.html). It's got to be in 1916 after he joined the Belgians. Note that since Indy is a private, this has to take place between "Love's Sweet Song" and "Trenches of Hell" since in the latter he's been promoted to corporal. My best guess is that this story probably takes place in June or July 1916.Delete
Now that I think about it Capt Oaxton disappeared in 1916 as wellDelete
Perhaps Indy was involved in an earlier military operation for one reason or another.ReplyDelete
I remember that that an old episode of The Simpsons had an appearance of Mulder and Scully from the X-files after Homer sees an UFO. Mulder insists that they travel to Springfield. Scully replies that she is working on a report about a shipment of illegal guns and drugs. Mulder replies "I hardly think the FBI is concerned with those matters."
There was also a parody of the Prisoner where Homer meets Number 6.
A further complicating factor is that there's a reference to an American air squadron providing cover fire. Since the U.S. didn't enter the war until 1917, that might suggest dating this story then. On the other hand, Jones wasn't a private in 1917, so perhaps it's best to write off the reference to Americans as a group of Americans operating in France on their own prior to the U.S. entry into the war.ReplyDelete
On a different note, Indy says to Dickson that "My father is Professor Henry Jones Senior and he met your famous mentor." Has the story of Jones Sr. meeting Holmes been told anywhere?
There were Americans that entered the war early. A lot of American's joined the French Foreign Legion or lied about their nationality and joined the Canadian forces (Raymond Chandler was one.) There was also the Lafayette Escradrille which I suppose could be the American squadron barelyDelete
Well, there's another collection that instantly goes on my "to-read" list.ReplyDelete
The mention of Dracula is especially interesting in light of the fact that Indy will meet him - or a vampire claiming to be him - in Transylvania just a couple years later (January 1918, by Crossovers I).
It's a good collection you really should get it.Delete
I thought the same thing about the mention of Dracula.