Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, May 29, 2021


 Captain Hugh 'Bulldog" Drummong came out of World War I with a thirst for adventure.  Drummond was the hero of twelve best-selling thrillers (1920-1937) written by H. C. MacNeille under the pen name "Sapper;" after MacNeiile's death, his friend Gerard Fairlie (who dubiously claimed that Drummond was based in part on him) continued the series for another seven novels (1838-1957).  Drummond is a British gentleman, independently wealthy, an accomplished athlete, "physically and morally intrepid," and blessed with common sense. ( For the record, he is also a bigot who brings bogotry to astounding levels, even for 1920s England.)  Drummond is aided in his adventures by the "gang" -- Algy Longworth, Peter Darrell, Ted Jerningham, and Toby Sinclair...all willing to give their all min Drummond's quest for adventure.

Bulldog Drummond Again -- The Final Count is an adaptation of the fourth Drummond book, The Final Count (1926), which ends Drummond's battle with his nemesis, the master criminal Carl Peterson, who was the villain in the previous books.  I don't know who did the adapttion, but it set the fast-moving tone of the novel.  The artwork as by Reg Bunn.

The story is narrated by John Stockton, who happens to live in the flat below that of "that genial giant," Captain Hugh Drummonod, C.S.O., M.C., late of the Royal Loamshire Regiment.  Stockton knows little of Drummond and even less of his devil-my-care gang of fellow advenutrers

Stockton receives a disturbing call from his good friend, Robin Gaunt, that has left Stocken shaken and disturbed.  Noticing Stockton's condition, Drummond helps him into a cab and goes along with him to Gaunt's home.  Gaunt, it appears, is an inventor and he has invented a terrible weapon of mass destruction that, in the wrong hands, could kill every living being on the planet.  (This is where a rational reader would ask, Why?  But don't forget that these characters are British, so that's all right, then.)  Arriving at Gaunt's flat, they find it trashed and Gaunt missing.  The police soon arrive at the scene and, unde the rubble, discover the corpse of Gaunt's dog.  An officer goes to move the dog's carcass and, upon touching the body, screams and dies a horrible death.  Drummond realizes that this must be the work of Gaunt's weapon of death.

So begins a trail that eventually leads to Drummond's nemesis and the (finally!) death of Carl Peterson.  [But fear not, Peterson's equally villainous widow Irma hangs around for a few more books and Peterson himself is revived in the last Bulldog Drummond book by MacNeille.]

If you're in the mood for a thrill ride where the characters call each other "old bean" and "old horse," this comic book is screaming for your attention.


No comments:

Post a Comment