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Castle of Terror   By:

Castle of Terror by E.J. Liston

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CASTLE OF TERROR

By E. J. LISTON

[Transcriber Note: This etext was produced from Amazing Stories November 1948. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]

[Sidenote: What strange dimension was this where giants, gangsters, Lucretia Borgia, dwarfs and Rip Van Winkle lived at the same time?]

"Too bad, Griffin," Hale Jenkins said to the man alongside. "Now if you'd have just stuck to bank stick ups, you'd have been all right."

"Nah!" Bud Griffin said, his mouth twisted in a wry grin. "I'd have been all right if you'd have just stuck to being a traffic cop. But you had to show the Commissioner you were on the ball, so he sent you after me. That's all."

The light suddenly flashed over the pilot's compartment with its warning to fasten safety belts. A few seconds later, the stewardess came around with a smiling warning that they were coming over some bad pockets, and that there was no need to worry.

Both men fastened their belts, as did all the other passengers on the giant airliner, and after a while the elevator began its ride. Griffin reached up and pulled the air vent down, so that the cold air of the upper reaches at which they were flying could send its refreshing drafts of air down the vent. Jenkins had been airsick once and didn't want any more of the same. He followed Griffin's gaze, and looked into the grey fog of a huge cloud bank.

Jenkins, to get his mind off the possibility of getting sick again, took up where the other had left off: "Yeah. But like I say, you shoulda stuck to robbin' banks."

His lean, strong face with the unusual bone structure which made it a face of highlights and plane surfaces, broke into a wide angled grin. He threw the shock of black hair from his eyes, and continued: "Guys like you never learn. Gotta work with a heater."

Griffin's opaque eyes shifted from the greyness which had encircled the plane, and met the dancing grey ones of the detective beside him. Griffin's lips mimicked the grin of the other. But his words were not so light hearted: "Look, copper! You just got lucky. If it weren't for that dame.... Aah! I shoulda been smart. I shoulda known she'd of sung. No dame can keep her yap shut! But get this. We ain't in yet! So be smart and don't think Bud Griffin's fryin'. Not yet he ain't."

Jenkins was, for a detective, a rather amiable sort. In Griffin's case, however, he could not help but give an occasional needle. The hoodlum and murderer's bragging rasped on Jenkins' nerves.

"Now, don't blame the girl," Jenkins said. "She was just the last step in my trail. The guy who really talked was Bud Griffin. There's a character who'll never stop talkin'. If you hadn't talked to the bartender in that joint on the waterfront, I'd have never found out about Myrtle. But he knew Myrtle and the kind of girl she was; he knew she only went for the hoods who had dough, and no guy who drinks beer like you do and leaves no tips ought to have dough. So when Myrtle walks in with a platina fox jacket and says you bought it, he gets mighty suspicious.

"It was a cinch then, Bud. All I had to do was tell the girl she was going to be named as an accessory after the fact, and she spilled her load."

Pin points of flame suddenly danced in Griffin's eyes. His hands, lying quiescent on his lap, curled into balls of bone and muscle. Griffin had many weaknesses; of them all, anger was his greatest. For in the heat of anger he would do anything, and not care about the consequences. It had proved his undoing many times. His last surge of anger had resulted in murder during a robbery. The victim had resisted Griffin and had been shot in cold blood. As always, that anger showed in visible signs: there came the pin points of flame to the eyes, the clenching of fists, and an odd curling of the mouth... Continue reading book >>




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