( First published in Summer 1949)
This was the last story of Doc Savage’s first run. Later on other authors wrote more stories, comics, and even one movie. Since 1933, Doc Savage adventures kept coming. 181 of them. I will give thanks for Bantum publishing company for reprinting all of them.
It looks like it took 16 years for Doc Savage to mature. The Doc in this book is more realistic. He talks and is sometime sarcastic to his friends. He has doubts and talks more. The first Doc was very closed mouth. He never said anything unless he was right. He treated his friends more like employees.
And this time it looks like Doc will never really find out what happen. A person comes out of a cave claiming the devil is after him. A mysterious Mr. Wail claims to be over 200 years old. And has special powers. ( Of course never shown while anyone is watching.)
This is the first time I ever read a Doc Savage without a logical ending. There is one, but even Doc isn’t sure of it.
But the interesting turn of phrases are still there. Like this one.
“ Report it,” Doc told him, “ the quickest and loudest way. Don’t bother being subtle. I have a feeling that if something breaks, haste will be the watchword. So don’t blow any gentle bubbles about it.”
Luckily I still have some of the 181 books to read. And I am sure someday Doc will be back in new tales and maybe a movie done right.