Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Remember the good old days when J. Edgar Hoover never misused his power and when all criminals come to their just desserts?  Those days before crooks realized that there was a safer living on Wall Street?   Those days when honest living was its own reward and dishonest living was a recipe for getting caught?  You don't?  Obviously you never lived in a comic book world.

So let's take a jaunt to the comic book world of 1952 and see what life really was not like:

Allie Corcoran and his wife Kate live in a tarpaper shack near the garbage dump.  Allie, who has had trouble with the law before,  promised he would go straight but the restraints and frustrations of the mundane world are chafing at him.  He dreams of finding a racket that will make him big money.  One day, they spot a car in the distance.  A body is thrown out and guns riddle the body.  It's Kel Matzon, one-time king of the rackets, and -- by some miracle -- he is still alive.  Allie and Kate take Matzon to their shack and nurse him back to health.  Matzon wants vengeance on those who betrayed him and he convinces Allie to throw in with him.  With Matzon's brains and Allie's youth they could make  millions.  What follows is a blood-splattered trail leading Allie and Kate to riches they had never dreamed of.  But the money and power soon go to Allie's head, and
                                                        **SPOILER ALERT!**
Crime Doesn't Pay!
                                                      **END SPOILER ALERT**
(Actually, the title of this story, -- "Road to the Morgue" --  is kind of a spoiler all by itself.)

Danny Conway, a punk with a gun, shoots a reported who has the goods on him.  The reporter lives long enough to finger Danny, so Danny goes on the run, vowing not to end up with a rope around his neck.  Danny is sure that he is smarter than the cops, but
                                                          **SPOILER ALERT**
he isn't.
                                                     **END SPOILER ALERT**
(Darn!  The title of this one -- "Danny Conway's Fate" -- is kind of a spoiler all by itself.)

Claire Nolan, a Veronica Lake look-alike, is in love with small-time crook Larry Brock.  Claire's brother Pat, a policeman, tries to convince his sister that Brock is no good but, hey, ladies love outlaws.  Brock tries to knock over a pawn shop, gets, trigger-happy, kills the owner, and goes on the lam with Claire.  Trapped in a remote cabin, Brock uses Claire as a shield, whereupon the light descends on Claire as she realizes that crooks are slime balls.  Brock is captured, but he pulls out a hidden knife and
                                                        **SPOILER ALERT**
well, bad guys seldom make it out alive in comic books of the late Forties/early Fifties.
                                                    **END SPOILER ALERT**
(And the title -- "The Gun Moll" -- doesn't give much away this time.)

Barney Rioden and his gang have made a specialty of high jacking trucks, but they finally high jack the wrong truck and a police trap is set.  In a rage, Barney kills the truck driver.  The rest of the gang get away but Barney is captured.  That night, the gang busts Barney out of jail and they hide out at an out of the way motel owned by ex-con Harry Quinn.  Barney takes a shine to Quinn's fianc√©, telling her, "Get this straight...I like you, and what I like I take!"  Quinn tries to interfere and Barney kills him but the girl rats on Barney and
                                                        **SPOILER ALERT**
He dies in a blaze of police gunfire (probably while thinking that girls are so fickle).
                                                    **END SPOILER ALERT**
(The innocuous title "On the Lam!" doesn't do much in the way of spoiling.)

Finally, there's a 3-page filler on the value of tipsters in solving crimes.  Yessir, report all your suspicions to the police and we will soon live in a crime-free world.  Or something.


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