Monday, December 7, 2009

Satan Hall 5: Satan's Creed

It's Dec. 17, 1932, and Detective Frank "Satan" Hall makes his fifth appearance, his fourth in the pages of Detective Fiction Weekly. Gangster August Saprillo has a gun to forehead of a little girl. Saprillo's finger tightens on the trigger, but . . .

A low voice spoke from the open door.

"I wouldn't do that Augie," the voice said.

The gangster raised his black eyes and looked straight into the green ones of Detective Satan Hall.

August Saprillo's first thought was that a gun covered him and that he was about to die. He'd take the kid with him. Then his eyes opened wide and his lips curled evilly. Satan Hall was standing there with both his hands at his sides, and both his hands empty.

August Saprillo didn't think any more. He just jerked his gun from that little curly head. Almost the moment he raised it he wished that he hadn't. While he held it against the child's head he had some chance to bargain with Satan. Now he knew the truth; knew it the very moment that right hand of Satan moved, for that hand which had been empty a split sceond before, now held a gun. Satan had been afraid that he would kill the kid. Satan had trapped him into raising his gun.

They fired together. Just a single deafening roar. Satan's right arm dropped to his side; his right hand opened and his gun pounded to the floor.

But his left hand shot between his right armpit, and stayed there.

Saprillo clicked his heels together, spun around and crashed forward on his face.

Yep, Satan allowed Augie a clear shot at him, seeing that as his only hope of saving the girl. Augie's shot took Satan in the right side of the chest, putting him in the hospital. But Satan's shot put Augie in the grave. Though we're not told where his bullet hit Augie, Satan always hits the mark, and he always aims right between the eyes.


Richard Robinson said...

Great post, thanks. I really enjoy reading your excerpts and comments on these old mags.

Laurie Powers said...

I wish there was an easy way to get a hold of these stories - I guess I'll have to go over to Adventure House and order some reprints.

Evan Lewis said...

Sorry, no Satan Hall at Adventure House that I know of.

Mysterious Press published The Adventures of Satan Hall in 1988, containing stories 2 thru 5.

Several of the later stories were published as the novel Ready to Burn, which is available as a download from Vintage Library.

Several other stories have never been collected. There was also a serial (8 parts, think) in DFW, which has never been reprinted.

When I was googling Satan not long ago I came across someone talking about reprinting the entire series, but don't know how serious they were.

Richard Prosch said...

So...Satan Hall: good guy, bad guy? With that kind of name a fellar oughta have to earn it?