Pulp Classic:: The Opium Ship
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Originally published as a four-part serial in the legendary pulp magazine 'The Thrill Book,' here is the story of Sir Gerald Desmond, late officer in His Majesty's Royal Flying Corps. Broke and drunk in Manila, he befriends a consumptive Irish fiddler, Michael O'Sullivan, and the two become involved in a free fight with the native constabulary. From this brawl they are rescued by an unknown benefactor -- but when they come to their senses, they find themselves shanghaied aboard the schooner 'San Gregorio', bound for Mindoro Island. Typhoons, smugglers, beautiful women, opium, and mutiny are just the beginning of their adventures!
over the stern rail, and Desmond swung himself down first. Aided by the swing of the ship, he managed to hook a foot inside the window, and then let the line swing out until Canaughan had followed him, when he pulled in the skipper. “All serene,” said Desmond, landing Canaughan softly. “You pull the line after you, so they’ll not be guessing how you got away, and where.” He hastened into the lighted cabin, where he found O’Sullivan standing, automatic in hand. Juliana was still sitting as he had
Manila,” said the skipper, who with O’Sullivan was now scrutinizing the woman aboard the junk. “Ah, she’s gone! Why, that’s the cook talkin’, I expect. Think he was an agent in this blasted dope running?” “Sure of it,” assented Desmond. “They look like Manchus aboard the junk there, and he was a Manchu, too; straight eyes, you know, and a different air.” A Celestial with a megaphone was standing in the bows of the junk, talking with someone on the schooner’s deck. For the present, however,
air that touched his ear, was carried to his brain, and he halted instantly. Now the sound recurred, and he stood very motionless, holding down even his breathing. He sensed danger, and sensed it close at hand. Not from the sound, however; he had already recognized that as the hacking cough of O’Sullivan. It was somewhere among the trees, not far distant — but it was muffled nearly to nothing. Then, as he stood listening, he caught the timbre of a voice on the night; no words, just the formless
it and sauntered toward Desmond. Behind him followed the prince, until Desmond halted him. “That’ll do, me friend. Now, suppose ye tell us what was in that chest of Arevalo’s? Mr. Balderson thinks there was money to be had, and he’s uneasy.” “Money?” repeated Prince Chan, staring at the spot where Desmond stood. “Yes. There was something like twohundred-thousand dollars in American notes.” 99 100 THE OPIUM SHIP “And where’s the chest now?” The voice of the Manchu rose in querulous, shrill
with Balderson. As a result, O’Sullivan was now sweating for his skin, and for the skin of Gerald Desmond, who was fast asleep and snoring. With a final swipe at his brow, the fiddler pulled himself erect. “God help us all!” he said softly, with a sob in his throat that told the words for a prayer. Outside, he could hear a tram- H. BEDFORD JONES pling of feet in the passage. He went to the desk in the corner and sat there. Presently he opened up the desk and began to go through it