Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, March 2, 2024


 Hilda Shane has a good racket:  smuggling refugees into the United States and bleeding them for money.  In this, she is helped by the thug Dancey.  Brodin, a watch repairer, goes to her to get his mother and his orphaned nephew into the country.  Because the boy, Victor, has a spot on his luing, it is unlikely that immigration would ever allow him into America.  Hilda Shane demands $5000 in advance and a further $3000 when she brings them across the border.  The old woman and the boy, who had made it as far as Mexico, are told to go to a hotel in Ensenada, where Hilda will meet them and take them aboard her boat for the journey north.  Guess who happens to be vacationing in Ensenada...

Outside the hotel, Simon sees an old woman and a child struggling with a load of luggage and offers to help.  The old woman think is that Simon may be the man Hilda sent to take them to her.  Dancey shows up and rudely corrects the old woman's mistake.  Later, Simon accidently bumps into Hilda at the hotel.  Dancey sees them and figures that was too much of a coincidence.  He then asks the hotel clerk who Simon is, and when he is told, recognizes that Simon is the Saint.  Both he and Hilda then believe that Simon is onto their game.  They convince Simon to get on Hilda's boat, drug him, and throw him in the ocean to drown.

Hilda has given the refugees papers and a carefully concocted story about having already been US residents, which leads to a perfectly prescient bit of dialogue when an immigration official questions young Victor about where he lives.  The boy replies, "In Hollywood, but I wish I lived in Brooklyn so I could see the Dodgers."  That one made the entire comic book worthwhile.

Hilda decides if Simon Templar was on to them, it would be safer to get out of the smuggling business and go into the blackmailing business -- there have been 45 people who she has smuggled in...and would have to keep paying her to keep their secret.  Soon Dancey murders a man who had paid Hilda to smuggle his sister into the country but refuses to pay additional blackmail.  Who will stand up for these refugees, innocent victims of war?  Certainly not Simon Templar, because he is dead.  Or is he...?

Super Detective Library was a British comic book that published two issues a month from April 1953 through December 1960, for a total of 188 issues.  The series featured many established heroes and previously published stories, along with original heroes.  characters featured were The Saint, Bulldog Drummond, Harry Lime, Blackshirt, Rip Kirby, Buck Ryan, space detective Rick Random, Sexton Blake, Temple Fortune, and various characters from Edgar Wallace and E. Phillips Oppenheim.  The vast majority of issues are available at Comic Book Plus, including:

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