Saturday, December 13, 2008


Chapter 9: Sentinel Justice
OK, Fred, you're starting to lose me with this chapter. Up till now I was thrilled to see just how wild each one could be. They were always better than the next. But with chapter nine, the author blows a tire.
Z-7 and his boys have created a secret revolutionary organization known only as "The Secret Sentinels". They operate out of a hideout in Washington, DC where Z-7 has a tap into every meeting room of dictator Ursus Young. They've also recruited a government scientist to help them broadcast a radio signal telling the nation the truth about what's really happening in America. They've started to raid radio stations and military bases for supplies. There is even talk of impeachment proceedings against President Young by bold members of congress. They have one battle cry: "Await the signal- Then strike!". So far, so good.
And they have a special uniform: a black robe with matching black hood. The hood bears an emblem of a skull.
And this is where I say: "Huh?"
How absurd is it for a revolutionary group to be running around dressed as some kind of negative KKK? This is supposed to be a mass organization trying to recruit people for the overthrow. How difficult would it be for Young's secret police to pick-out black robes in a crowd? OK, maybe I'm expecting too much from a pulp novel from the 1930's, but it's been a roller coaster ride so far. Davis continues to shock me with new twists and turns, but at least they did'nt go too far off the rails.
This chapter begins with the Secret Sentinels liberating a town under siege by Young's Health Police, who are using claims of a plague to suppress dissent. Next we see Operator 5 rescue a rich philanthropist who was about to have his fortune confiscated by the secret police. The chapter gets back on track with Operator 5 assuming the identity of Huntley Walsh, rich man about town.
One amusing character is the butler of "Huntley Walsh" an Alfred type who, upper lip stiffly in place, drolly informs Operator 5 of the various Secret Sentinel revolutionary activities.

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