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ARTHUR LEO ZAGAT

DOC TURNER'S MURDER MEDICINE

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A DOC TURNER STORY



First published in The Spider, November 1935

This e-book edition: Roy Glashan's Library, 2017
Version Date: 2017-12-19
Produced by Matthias Kaether and Roy Glashan

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The Spider, November 1935, with "Doc Turner's Murder Medicine"



Each weekend brought death and new terror to teeming Morris Street, when the screams of frightened women and children and the mad rush of panicked men made a hideous madhouse of the neighborhood. What chance had the little gray druggist to protect his people from that hidden hand of murder-madness?



IN the back-room of his drugstore on Morris Street, Andrew Turner's long-fingered, almost transparent hand gave a final twirl to the pill-roller. He lifted the wooden device, and there was a twinkle in the faded blue eyes under his shaggy, white brows as he peered at the firm, perfect globules.

"Look at them, Abie," he threw over his shoulder to the hook-nosed, swart-visaged urchin polishing a graduate glass at the sink behind him. "Each one the same as all the others, to a hair's-breadth, and each one right to the hundredth of a grain. Do you think those whippersnappers the schools are grinding out by the bushel could match them?"

"Oi, Meester Toiner," Abie's nasal twang responded. "Dey ain't nobody could metch you. Jeck Rensom says dot ven God made you He broke de mold."

Doc Turner's white mustache moved as his thin lips quirked with a small smile. "Nonsense, son," he protested. "I'm only an old fellow trying to do his best for the people he serves." He sighed. "And often failing. There is so very little one man can do for them, huddled in this slum, and bewildered by the strange ways of a strange land." He was talking at the errand boy, not to him. "But when one knows them they are so very, very human, and so lovable. Listen to them..."

The shuffling of hundreds of feet, the shouts of the hucksters, the shrill chaffering of shawled women invaded the cloistered quiet of the store to which he had come longer ago than he cared to remember, and over all there was laughter. For this was Saturday night, and pay envelopes were clutched in calloused hands, and tomorrow the alarm clocks would not ring.

And then, quite suddenly, silence blotted out the noises. It fell like a pall, for a single quivering instant, a soundless hush shuddering with dread. For that instant Doc Turner froze, blanching, an age-long moment of appalled expectancy ended by a hoarse bellow like the roar of an enraged beast. A scream joined it, the throat-tearing scream of a woman face-to-face with terror. The shriek cut off...

Doc whirled, hurled his frail frame through the curtained entrance of his sanctum, darted out through the open street door. A babble of polyglot tumult received him. Bodies battered him, the plunging bodies of men, women, blind and shouting, fleeing from some terrific threat. He staggered, spun around, grabbed at the store-window frame to save himself from being thrown down, from being trampled by the fear-maddened throng.

Then the pound of stampeding feet was gone, and Turner twisted again to a street emptied of its glut, a street chaotic with overturned pushcarts, with spilled fruit, with pulped vegetables. A gaudily painted cart was crazily askew on the curb in front of him, a tank it had carried a mess of smashed glass and twisted metal, quartered coconut crescents bobbing like brown-hulled, white-decked toy boats on the gushing flood of penny-a-glass lemonade. A burbling moan pulled Doc's glance beyond it, to the wet-black cobbled gutter-space between curb and elevated pillars, a moan and a burst of crazed horrible laughter.

Out there, terribly distinct in the grimy luminosity of a street lamp, a veritable giant of a man stood straddle-legged, his great, unshaven head thrown back, his yellow-fanged mouth open to emit peal after peal of insane laughter. He was khaki-trousered, shirtless, and netting his sweat-glistening, nude torso, angry scarlet weals crisscrossed. One muscle-bulging arm was lifted above his head. The other was flung out before him, and its hand clenched the haft of a long knife from whose blade slow, viscid droplets flashed scarlet as they dripped to the piteous, crumpled heap on the paving at his feet.

A gay holiday frock was torn from the shoulders of the girl lying there. A mass of blue-black, disheveled hair hid her face, writhed over her chin and was matted, suddenly, in blood spurting from a jagged, gaping gash that sliced downward across her chest from the point of one shoulder.

"Coconuts," a tiny voice piped from the corner. A small form toddled with amazing rapidity across the sidewalk, went down on its bare knees in the bubbling flood of spilled drink. The three-year-old snatched up a split shell, its eyes shining with glee at the treasure-trove. The child's mouth opened for the first delicious bite...

And it stayed open to emit a quivering shriek of terror as the madman plunged across, stooping as he came and reaching out a clawing hand to snatch at his next victim.

"Pietro!" Doc cried. "Stop it, Pietro. Stop it!"


THE impact of his shrill cry halted the madman momentarily, jerked his stormy look to the alpaca-coated druggist, jerked him erect and snarling. Only momentarily, but sufficiently long for Doc to get into motion, to throw himself across the sidewalk and come to a skidding stop between the insane killer and the screaming tot. "Drop that knife," Turner spat. "Drop it!"

Indecision flickered across the pain-wrenched, twitching countenance. The people of Morris Street were accustomed to obey Doc's commands, instantly and without question. The old druggist looked up into deep-sunk eyes whose pupils were shrunk to pinpoints and irises black as the pit of hell. Into eyes that were utterly mad!

"Pietro, you fool, it's your own son! It's your little Angelino that you would kill."

The thick slavering lips twisted. "Kill!" Pietro bellowed. "Kill. Kill!" The thick fingers of his unencumbered hand flailed out, clutched Doc's collar, pulled the frail old man to him. "I kill all. I kill!" And his knife flashed redly, sweeping down to plunge into Doc's throat.

Spat! A fist darted over Turner's shoulder, pounded into the killer's face. It threw him back, breaking his grip on the druggist's collar. In the same moment Doc felt himself thrust aside and saw a chunky, broad-shouldered, carrot-headed youth leap past him to pound a sledgehammer blow into Pietro's midriff, to land an uppercut lifted from the knees on the point of the crazed man's jaw.

Pietro went down like a poled ox, his great form hitting the stones with a meaty thud. His gory weapon skittered away, and he was rolling in the muck, rolling and writhing with his knotted hands pressed tight to his abdomen. Writhing and howling broken phrases.

"No," he howled. "No burn me no more. I do whatchu say. I do anyt'ing, only no burn me."

"Jack," Doc said, coming up alongside of the youth who had saved him from certain death. "I don't understand it. He was all right this morning, when he stopped in to ask me to send Abie up with some cough mixture for Angelino. He was all right then, a lumbering, hardworking giant who wouldn't hurt a fly."

Jack Ransom was grim-faced, looking down at the suffering hulk. "He's far from all right now. Something happened to him—the same thing that happened to Moishe Birnbaum last Saturday when he ran amuck along here with a club. Only Moishe didn't have any marks on him like those." He shuddered. "I knew hell had broke loose again when the crowd went pouring by in front of the garage. But I didn't think you were mixed up in it. Why do you take those chances, Doc? What would the people around here do if anything was to happen to you?"

Turner didn't hear the rebuke. "Birnbaum was a shrimp alongside of Pietro, and he's been on relief for two years. It would be easy to upset his mind, far easier than with Pietro."

Ransom whirled to him, his eyes slitting. "What do you mean Doc? You don't think...?"

"I think there's a fiend loose in Morris Street again, a fiend that it's going to be up to us to stop. Look here, Jack..." He stopped, suddenly aware that those who had fled a moment ago, mad with terror, were surging back again, drawn by morbid curiosity. A policeman shouldered through them.

"What's all this?" the officer growled, fingering his nightstick. "What's going on here?"

Turner looked at him bleakly. "It's over now, Flannery. There's nothing left for you to do except call an ambulance—and the dead wagon."

"The dead...!"

"That girl is dead. You won't be flirting with Minnie Cohen anymore, and eating pickles from her mother's vinegar barrel while you flirt. Come inside, Jack. Come into the store."


DOC TURNER'S hands were very steady as he wrote a label for the pillbox, but his seamed countenance was drawn, haggard, and his eyes were dreary. "I sold dextromaltose to Leah Cohen for Minnie's nursing bottles, and I got Pietro his first job digging sewers."

"I know, Doc," Jack mumbled. "I know. They're all like your children around here. Everybody knows that, and there isn't a crook in town dares to cross your deadline."

"I did it with your help, Jack. And the Lord knows I need it now. Last Saturday, and now this—"

"It's sure ruined business for the pushcarts. Saturday's the only night they have a chance to make any real money..."

"Wait!" Doc stabbed a thick, acid-stained thumb at Ransom. "Maybe you've hit something. Another madman going berserk on market night, and there won't be anybody who'll dare come to Morris Street to shop. They'll stay home, do their buying in the stores on the side streets..."

"It can't be a protection racket starting up. Those mugs don't work that way. They spray kerosene on the foods, throw stink-bombs."

"They can't get away with that sort of thing any more. But this..."

"Meester Toiner," Abie came in through the curtain, a dust rag in his hand. "I heard eet vot you said. Dot's choost vot Mannie Ginsboig told Baldy Lewis, de president from de Morris Stritt Boys."

"Hey," Jack jeered. "You in again? Little pitchers with too-big ears get broken."

"Wait, Jack," Doc Turner interrupted. "I want to hear this. Who's Baldy Lewis?"

"Aw, he's just a dumb mick that bought the Coffee Pot, up the street, while you was on a vacation. He's got a backroom that he lets the Morris Street Boys use for their club room, and they made him president so he wouldn't ask for any rent."

"He vants eet a lot new members. But eet ain't no go. Everybody says dey got to voik too hard all day to play pinochle und creps een Baldy's beck room all night."

"Gees, Doc, there ain't enough in it for him to be pulling anything like this. All he gets out o' that crowd is a few nickels for doughnuts and coffee. What the devil, he's starving! He's even trying to use his basement for a pushcart garage, but that doesn't work either. Old Oscar Rumpelstein's made a good living for years out of that, around on Treebar Place."

Andrew Turner pasted the label on the white pillbox cover, and turned to the errand boy.

"Here, Abie, wrap this and take it up to Mrs. Faverella. And hurry back, because I want you to watch the store while Jack and I go out for some doughnuts and coffee."


THE man behind the marble-topped counter had wrapped around his gaunt body a voluminous and very soiled apron. His nose was pinched, its tip elongated so that it cut the thin, straight line of his mouth, and loose skin hung in quivering wattles under his narrow chin. Andrew Turner, perched on a high stool, wondered that any human being could look so much like a vulture.

"You dunk these," Jack said. "Like this." He dipped an unhealthy looking bit of twisted pastry into the gray and unpleasant liquid in the mug before him. "If the coffee was coffee you could almost eat the so-called cruller."

Lewis put hands on the counter edge that were grotesquely large by comparison to his wizened frame. "What's the matter wid the coffee?" he asked slowly, dangerously, his mutter coming from between lips that moved not at all.

A white-toothed grin lit up Ransom's freckled face. "It's fine. Perfect—for dishwater. Only you forgot the soap. Or don't you know what soap's for?"

Doc slid gently off his stool, wandered inconspicuously back past two fly-specked tables toward a door in the smeared back wall of the place, a drab, paint-peeling panel from behind which came the murmur of hoarse voices, and a staccato rattle as of cubed bones rolling across wood.

"A wise guy, huh," Lewis lipped. "A smartie."

"No." Jack wagged his head sadly. "I thought I was, till I gave you a dime for these slops."

"Slops, huh," the baited man mouthed, eyes only for his tormentor. "Say listen, mug. Fer two cents I'd cram yuh in my meat-chopper and make hamburger of yuh."

"That would be the first time you ground up anything except what you rake out of the garbage cans."

Lewis' tight lips spewed obscenity. His arms stiffened and he vaulted the counter, but Jack's stool crashed to the floor as he leaped from it. He dodged the man's first wild blow and landed a right cross in the fellow's middle that had steam behind it. Baldy took it on belly muscles like steel springs, lashed out with his left. The punch jarred Jack, left him wide open for a right that drove breath whistling to his mouth. He splashed a fist on Lewis' vulpine face, sent in another just above the belt. This last had the drive of his shoulders and his legs behind it. It pounded Lewis into the lunch-counter.

Lewis spat blood from a cut lip. The door to the back room slammed open, and a dozen shirt-sleeved plug-uglies poured through, yelling, "Eat him up, Baldy."

"Knock his teeth down his throat."

They packed shoulder to shoulder, watching Lewis weave in and fan air as Jack danced backward toward the street entrance, going just fast enough to keep away from his antagonist's haymakers.

The opening back-room door had hidden Doc from the fellows coming out. He looked them over calmly, an odd gleam coming into his eyes as he saw no one he knew, though every denizen of the neighborhood was familiar to him as his own face in a mirror. He ducked around the door into the inner retreat from which they had come, and pulled the portal gently shut behind him.

The air here was foul with the stale tobacco smoke. In a corner a hacked, square table was half-covered with cards and dice hastily thrown down. Behind it the grimy plaster of the wall was broken by another door. Doc went to that, got his hand on the knob, hesitated, listening.


FROM out front he could hear the pounding noises of the brawl Jack had started to give him a chance to get back here unobserved. So far he had discovered nothing to confirm his suspicions, except that the hard-visaged men loafing here who called themselves the Morris Street Boys were utter strangers to Morris Street. But some vague instinct within him, an instinct developed by years of warring against human wolves for the sake of the hapless slum-dwellers, warned him that he had not penetrated yet to the true secret of this establishment. He twisted the knob, pulled the door toward him. Light seeping in showed only a closet, with shabby coats hanging from hooks across its back.

A footfall audible above the noises outside thudded near the door through which he had entered and a hand fumbled along its edge.

He leaned against the back wall of the closet. A voice rumbled outside, "I'm tellin' yuh, Squinty's a gyp. He rung in loaded bones on us. I got a chanct now tuh show yuh."

"Yuh're nuts!" other tones answered. "I done time wid Squinty, an' he's on de up an' up."

A coat hung across Doc's face. He reached up to move it from its hook. The hanger was caught and he tugged at it. The wall against which he leaned seemed to move away from him. It was moving, and Turner caught himself just in time to keep from falling. He pushed a tentative hand against the hanging clothing and found only vacant space.

He was in absolute blackness that pressed against his eyeballs as if it had weight. Somehow it was ominous, but it wasn't the dark that affected him so, nor the strange circumstance of the concealed exit from the closet. It was an odor, a faint pungency that was the stench of burned flesh. Natural enough for a restaurant, perhaps, but he hadn't noticed it in the closet before. Might not those marks meshing Pietro's chest and belly have been burns; fresh, angry burns?

He pushed a groping toe forward along the floor, where the false wall had swung away. He ventured into it, fighting a sensation that there was a pit beneath him, an abyss yawning for his slightest move. His fingers, feeling blindly in the murk, were rasped by rough fabric. He clutched it, pulled it toward him. It was one of the coats, and the wall came swinging back again with only the barest perceptible whisper of sound to betray its movement.

He got it past him, maneuvered it gently into place, heard a faint click that must be the catch he had inadvertently loosened.

Doc reached into a side pocket of his alpaca coat, brought out a box of matches and struck one. The little flame flared, showed close brick walls on three sides, a serrated caging of slats with rough scratch-plaster oozing through between them on the fourth. But right at his feet there were steep, ladder-like steps of new wood, and it was from the dark well into which they dropped that the spine-tingling smell of seared flesh came.

What, in God's name, could be the secret down there that was so carefully concealed, so meticulously guarded?


BALDY LEWIS snarled, went down almost to the floor and leaped. His hard knuckles battered, one-two, into Jack Ransom's guts, and he straightened, sliding up along Jack's oil-smeared overalls, inside his guard, wrapping his arms around his back and squeezing. Jack gasped, fighting for breath, clinched.

The shiny skull butted up against his jaw, jolting his head back. The sharp chin pounded into his chest, where ligament joins the ribs, dug in. The pythonlike arms constricted tighter, the chin bored in, and excruciating pain stabbed Ransom. Unspeakable torture tore his spine, his chest.

Ransom went down, writhing, half-mad with pain. He tossed, doubled over, dizzy and retching. The shouted applause of Baldy's cohorts came only dimly to him, but he was vaguely aware that someone had thrown open the street door, was squealing, "The cops! Chikky the cops," and that Lewis was bawling some hoarse command.

Dazed with pain, Jack only knew that he was being lifted from the floor, was being carried around behind the counter. An open trapdoor there made a black square in the floor, and down into this the men carrying him hurried. It slammed down above.

A light came on, and the whitewash-walled basement sprang into being to Ransom's eyes. A basement filled, except for a small cleared space around the bottom of the stairs, with green-painted, brand-new pushcarts. He was banged down hard on the concrete floor and a knee dug into his heaving belly while steely fingers gripped his wrists, spread-eagling his arms, holding him helpless.

Jack felt wire going around his ankles, being twisted tight. Then they were rolling him over, had his arms behind his back, were treating his wrists the same way. He was trussed like a chicken for the slaughter.

The trapdoor above opened. "What's takin' you two so long down there?" Jack saw Lewis' vulturine countenance framed in the opening. "What're yuh lookin' for?" Suspicion was heavy in his tones.

"Hell, Baldy," the fellow who had spread-eagled him whined. "We ain't pokin' around. We just got this guy fixed like you said."

"All right, then. Come on up. The cops is gone."

They clumped up the stairs. "Hey, wise guy," Lewis called. "I'll be down to work on you quick's I kin get rid o' this mob an' close up. An' that's goin' to be too damn quick for you!"

The trapdoor banged down, but the light was still on. Jack tried to think what all the pushcarts might be for. Morris Street was always lined tight with hucksters whom the police would protect in their rights to spaces they had used for years. There wasn't room enough for one newcomer, let alone the dozen or more he saw here...


DOC TURNER found the bottom of the stair-flight. He stopped, peering into the darkness, listening intently. There was no sound except vague thumpings overhead, a chorus of shouts so dulled by intervening distance that he could make nothing of them. But the smell of burned flesh was stronger here, and he had a queasy feeling of being shut in by close walls.

The matchbox was still in his hand, he struck another light.

He was in a brick-lined chamber somewhat smaller than the back room above. The glint of his flame on a pendant electric-light bulb caught his eye. He reached up and switched it on.

There was a chair here, a small table on which there was a bottle of Old Crow, half-empty, and a dirty glass. There was another glass too, with some milky-white liquid in it. But just beyond the table a column supported a floor beam above, and riveted to it were chains that hung down, ending in open manacles. There was blood on the column, and at its base there was a little heap of cloth.

Doc Turner knew what that cloth was before he got to it. But he made himself pick it up. It was a thick, dark blue sweatshirt, just such a shirt as little Pietro had worn this morning. And it hadn't been unbuttoned, it had been torn from its wearer.

Beside the column a low, rusted contraption stood that Doc recognized as one of those gasoline-fired braziers electrical workers use to keep their pots of solder molten while splicing cables. He had seen them many times, hot air shimmering above them, beside open manholes in the street. But no pot rested on this one. A wood-handled iron rod lay across its top, blackened and encrusted with something that was not rust.

The old man was very white, as he put the rod down again, so gently that there was absolutely no sound as the iron came against iron. He was trembling a little again, but it was anger that smouldered in his eyes, a terrible, devastating anger. He turned and his feet made no sound on the concrete floor of that torture chamber. He reached the table, dipped the tip of his crooked little finger into the milky liquid, and touched it to his tongue.

A bitter, tingling taste, numbing after a moment. The old pharmacist didn't need crucibles, burettes, titration tubes for that analysis. It was a decoction of marihuana, or 'loco-weed!' The amount missing from that glass would send any man stark, raving crazy. As crazy as Pietro had been, running amuck in Morris Street, stabbing a bloody knife at his own well-loved son.

Pietro hadn't drunk the stuff willingly. He hadn't been scared into drinking it, as Moishe might have been. It had not been for nothing that his skin had been netted with those ghastly burns. The skin of his chest and his abdomen, and the Lord alone knew where else. But why? In the name of God, why?

A scraping sound whirled Doc around. His hand darted to the electric globe, switched it out. But complete darkness did not return with the quenching of its glow. A long, yellow, vertical slit confronted him, a gap of light slicing what had seemed solid wall. It widened slowly, and something black jogged it...


JACK RANSOM did not have long to wait before the trapdoor above him opened again and Baldy Lewis came slithering down, letting it come closed above him. He turned and slipped a bolt into its socket before he completed the descent. Then he was standing above Jack, and the pallid gash that served him for mouth quirked a bit at the corners, as though it were trying to smile. But there was no smile in the lens-less eyes. There was rather hate, and a lascivious anticipation that was worse than hate. This man would hurt for the pure joy of inflicting pain.

That sadistic gaze wandered slowly over the bound man, from head to foot and back again. Then words dripped down to Jack: "Yuh'll do. Yuh're big enough an' strong enough to spread plenty of damage next Sat'day, before they shoot yuh down.

"Yeah." His glance flickered to the pushcarts banked around, came back. "An' that ought to finish the job. Them mockos won't come back no more, an' my bunch'll be out dere wit' dese carts. Dat's musclin' in, ain't it, wise guy? Dat's musclin' in nice an' smooth an' widout no comeback. Dey tells me de old protection racket is finished. Maybe it is, but Baldy Lewis figured out a new one, an' it's goin' over. Just a little bother, an' then I'll be splittin' fifty-fifty with boids that know how to weigh in a hand with de onions, an' how to stuff a hen with water. Only suckers woik, smartie, an' Baldy's no sucker." He was frankly grinning now. "Best part is dey ain't none o' dem guy knows w'at I'm up to, an' so dey can't squeal. Dey'll just take what I hands 'em an' t'ank me."

Fear was a dark flood in Jack's veins. How Lewis would accomplish it was a mystery, but he knew that in a week he would be as Pietro was hours ago, as Moishe had been the week before. He would be a raving, frenzied maniac spreading death down the length of Morris Street. He stared up at the man, meeting him eye for eye, but his expressionless face was only a mask covering horror squirming within his skull.

"An' you walks into me to make it easy. The only thing I don't like, I'll have to feed yer fer a week—that's wastin' good food. Come on!" Lewis bent, got his enormous hands on Jack, one on an arm the other around a thigh, and lifted. His strength was enormous, he swung the heavy-bodied youth to a shoulder with consummate ease, slung him there like a limp meal sack. Then he was picking his way between the crowded carts, was going toward the rear wall of the cellar.

Dull wonder curdled in Jack's reeling brain as Lewis went all the way to that barrier of solid brick. What was he up to? Did he think he could walk through stone? Then Baldy put out his free hand, pressed on one oblong brick, on another. There was a scraping sound, and quite suddenly there was a long, vertical black slit slicing the whiteness.

It widened, slowly, and amazement struck through Jack as he saw that the wall was opening, that a panel was sliding sidewise and an aperture was leisurely gaping before him that in a moment would be wide enough for a man to pass through...


THROUGH habit taught by his forays, Doc Turner's keen old brain had assimilated a minute map of his surroundings in the few minutes he had had to examine them. He darted silently to the gasoline brazier, snatched up the wood-handled torture iron that was the only available weapon here.

The aperture in the wall came wholly open and he saw, silhouetted against light from outside, a figure that could only be that of Baldy Lewis, saw slung on his shoulder what seemed to be a potato sack enormously enlarged. Then the illumination was clearer and he knew that it was Jack.

Doc twisted to the table, grabbed up the whiskey flask that stood there. Lewis blundered across the floor, Jack's hulk between his head and Doc so that he did not yet see the old man. He dropped the youth and reached up for the light-key.

That was the moment for Andrew Turner, still unobserved, to dart out into the larger basement. He might even make it up the stairs, shoot the trapdoor bolt and get out. But he didn't do that. He crouched, flung the contents of the flask he held. The burning liquid struck square in Baldy's eyes, momentarily blinded them.

Lewis whirled, squealing with pain and surprise. He flailed out, and by devil's luck the clutching fingers of his right hand struck Doc's thin arm, fastening on it. He dragged the old man to him. His left fist arced up in a lethal swoop.

He met the down-slash of the druggist's improvised weapon that cracked hard on its knuckles, numbing it. Lewis squealed, tightened his grip on the druggist's biceps so that each finger was a separate, searing agony.

Doc's small strength went out of him. He managed to strike convulsively at Lewis' shining dome with the rod. The polished scalp was gashed, but Baldy slammed the old man against the table edge, bent him backward over it. In seconds, Doc knew, his spine would snap and that would be the end.

Jack rolled, threw the weight of his body against Lewis' stiffly planted legs. The unexpected attack staggered the man, his lethal grip relaxed for an instant. It was long enough for Turner to twist out of it, to surge along the table edge away from him. Baldy whirled.

With a last desperate sally Doc jabbed the rod at him. More by luck than aim its blunt point found Lewis' eye, pierced deep. Blood spurted, and the man shrieked with an anguish greater than any he had ever inflicted. Doc gritted his teeth, pushed harder. The torture-iron entered the brain that had conceived its use...

Andrew Turner swayed, held on to the table for support while he looked down at the dead vulture. Even with life gone Lewis was something unclean, something heaved up from the noisome depths of a primeval swamp.

"I'm sorry," Doc said in a thin, shaken voice, "that I didn't have time to heat the iron red-hot. But maybe Minnie Cohen is satisfied with this."


THE END


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