The Mystery Mind


150 pages
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An action-packed tale of the occult featuring a plucky heroine, murderous devil worshippers, and the mind-bending science of hypnotism

A sinister band of killers marks a young heiress for death. The assassins, led by a spectral voice known as the Mystery Mind, seek a treasure from the lost city of Atlantis. Kidnapped by the evildoers, Violet Bronson prays that her guardian, Doctor Sutton, and her fiancé, hypnotist Robert Dupont, will rescue her. Sutton and Dupont set out in search of the Temple of the Skull, but the solution to this paranormal mystery proves even more bizarre than these two men of science could have imagined.
A novelization of a popular film serial, The Mystery Mind is spooky, suspenseful, and irresistibly fun.
This ebook features a new introduction by Otto Penzler and has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.



Publié par
Date de parution 24 novembre 2015
Nombre de visites sur la page 2
EAN13 9781480444522
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0027 €. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

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TheMystery Mind
Arthur B. Reeve and John W. Grey
When Sherlock Holmes took the world’s readershiD by storm in the 1890s, authors and Dublishers alike saw the Dotential for success with the creation of a series detective. Although a little late to the game, few authors were as DoDular as Arthur B. Reeve (1880– 1936) and his character, the scientific detective C raig Kennedy, who made his debut in The Silent Bulletnovels and short (1912) and aDDeared in an additional twenty-three story collections. Born in Patchogue, New York, the son of Jeannie (He nderson) and Walter F. Reeve, he graduated from Princeton University in 1903 and wen t on to study law, which he never Dracticed, becoming a journalist instead. Reeve gre w interested in scientific crime detection when he wrote a series of articles on the subject, and he subsequently created Craig Kennedy, the most DoDular detective in Americ a for several years. Much of that vast DoDularity was due to silent film serials, als o written by Reeve, about a young heroine named Elaine who constantly finds herself i n the clutches of villains, only to be rescued at the last moment by the white-coated Kenn edy. Reeve’s stories were the first American mysteries t o gain wide readershiD in Great Britain. They are not read much today, for Dseudosc ientific methods and devices that were of great interest then are all outdated—and ma ny of them never had a solid technical basis in the first Dlace. Reeve’s major a chievement was his aDDlication of Freudian Dsychology to detection two decades before Dsychoanalysis gained substantial Dublic acceDtance. uring World War I he was asked to helD establish a sDy and crime detection laboratory in Washington, C. Reeve wrote only four mysteries not involving Kenne dy:Guy Garrick(1914),Constance Dunlap: Woman Detectiveshort stories), (1916; The Master Mystery (1919; a novel based on a motion Dicture serial starring Harry Hou dini; written with John W. Grey), and The Mystery Minda novel based on a motion Dicture serial ab  (1920; out hyDnosis; also written with Grey).
One of the first DoDular scientific detectives in m ystery fiction was the American Craig Kennedy, Dreceded in England by R. Austin Freeman’s r. John Thorndyke. At the height of his fame, Kennedy was known as the “American She rlock Holmes.” Scientific “miracles” are commonDlace in his cases; for examDle, such technical marvels as lie detectors, gyroscoDes, and a Dortabl e seismograDh that can differentiate between the footsteDs of different individuals were all accurately Dredicted. Like Holmes, Kennedy is a chemist who uses his knowledge to solv e cases. He is also one of the first detectives to use Dsychoanalytic techniques. Kennedy is a Drofessor at Columbia University who a lso works as a consulting detective. A man of action as well as thought, he i s a master of disguise and uses a gun when circumstances require it. InsDector Barney O’C onnor of the New York Police eDartment frequently asks for unofficial helD from Kennedy. Walter Jameson, Kennedy’s roommate, is a newsDaDer reDorter who chronicles hi s adventures and also tries to solve cases on his own, with a Dredictable lack of succes s.
Kennedy made his first film aDDearance in a 1915 Pa thé serial,The Exploits of Elaine. Although Elaine—Dortrayed by the DoDular Pearl Whit e—is the nominal central character, it is her friend Kennedy (Arnold aly) who does bat tle against the mysterious Clutching Hand. Clutching Hand, seeking Elaine’s inheritance, is extraordinarily scientific himself, wielding death rays and creating Doison-kiss eDidem ics; in one eDisode, Kennedy brings a dead girl back to life with “r. Leduc’s method o f resuscitation,” a machine he wheels out of a corner of his well-equiDDed laboratory. Th ere were two sequels featuring both Elaine and Kennedy:The New Exploits of Elaineand (1915) The Romance of Elaine (1916). Kennedy uses the wireless and x-rays and is shot wi th Dhosgene bullets and traDDed in a vacuum room in the 1919 fifteen-chaDter serialThe Carter Case (subtitledThe Craig Kennedy Serial). Herbert Rawlinson Dlayed the detective. In 1926, Kennedy (Jack Mower) was a subordinate character in the ten-chaDter seri alThe Radio Detective, coming to the aid of the hero (Jack augherty), an inventor and d evoted Boy Scout leader whose radio wave discovery is a gangster’s target. Kennedy reti red for ten years, emerging only when challenged by an old villain. The Clutching HandJack Mulhall,. Stage and Screen, 1936 (fifteen-chaDter serial). Marion Shilling, Yakima Canutt, Ruth Mix, Mae Busch , Robert Frazier. irected by Albert Herman. The director of a large industrial corDoration anno unces the discovery of synthetic gold and is kidnaDDed by the unknown Hand. The hooded vi llain contacts his many (numbered) agents by way of television as he sits b efore multileveled monitors; the electronic and video taDe gimmickry ramDant through out the serial and uDon which the solution deDends is extraordinarily soDhisticated for its day.
In the early days of television onald Woods starre d inCraig Kennedy, Criminologist (1952), a series of twenty-six half-hour Drograms.
In her vexation Violet turned in bed, boring with a very blond head into the depths of her pillow. It was unreasonable; wholly unreasonable. D octor Sutton, her guardian, had insisted that she postpone her wedding until after her eighteenth birthday. That was a difference of only a very few weeks, but it disarra nged all her pet plans, it meant that she would have to wait just that much longer, and she l oved Robert better than anything else in the world. A sharp slam of the shutter startled her, scatterin g rebellious thoughts wide cast. There was no mistaking the metallic sound as the heavy, o ld-fashioned wooden frame engaged the catch holding it to the side of the house. Yet outside there was not the faintest breath of breeze. No stir of the foliage framing the open square of window reassured her. No movement of the sultry air accounted for the interruption to her very sulky reflections. She turned again and lay still, fearful, gazing int ently at the patch of moonlight patterned by the leaves. A reflected illumination r evealed her slim, girlish outline beneath the covering. Her hair, damp as a result of restles s tossing about, clung to her forehead in a natural curl. Her eyes were bright, glistening in the semidarkness as she waited. There was a delicate ethereal element in the molding of h er features which betrayed a fine-strung sensitiveness, suggested the depth and stren gth of her imagination. But the sudden slam had been no creation of fancy. The sharp click of the catch had been too familiar a sound to be mistaken. Alarming her was the fact that she had heard no creaking of the rusty hinges. There had been no natural wide swing of the shutter, accountable, perhaps, without a wind. Rather, it wa s as though some intruder, some living thing, had lurched against it momentarily in the stillness of the night. No further sound or movement gave color to her frig ht. After a while she smiled faintly, remembering the many baseless fears of her childhoo d, recalling to mind the several occasions on which her terrified screams had alarme d the household, and all to no purpose. From infancy Violet Bronson had been fanci ful, eerie, claiming at times to see strange, floating, filmy forms, to hear vague and e lusive strains of music. Could this, after all, be some trick of her subconscious mind? Could her sleeplessness have induced the return of childish illusion? Resolutely she faced the wall. There the moonlight traced the designs of the wallpaper. In its sheen the tints of the conventional figures were transformed strangely. But there was something restful in the effect, perhaps a hypn otic something in the lunar rays. She felt a drowsiness stealing over her. Her eyes becam e heavy-lidded. She realized that sleep, at last, was coming. Suddenly, upon the wall before her eyes, there rose the shadow of a man. His face was in profile, and it wa s the outline of a face such as she had never seen upon any living creature. It was as thou gh his features blended, blurred, faded into nothing. The top and back of the head wa s distinct, as shadowed by the moon. The nose, the mouth, and the jaw of the intruder we re semitransparent. It was a phantom face, a countenance possessing neither substance no r reality. Terrified, she sought to scream and found the muscl es of her throat paralyzed. As quickly as the shadow had risen before her it dropp ed from view. It seemed to her that some one had clambered through the window, swiftly, silently. Once more she tried to find her voice, then, with mounting courage, she co ntrolled herself. Listening, hearing no sound, she rose in bed. She glanced about the room with distended eyes, seeking to penetrate the darkness. Feverishly her hand groped for the switch of the reading lamp standing by her bed.
At that moment she heard a second sound. As in the case of the shutter, there was no mistaking it. It came from the farther corner of th e room, near the door to the hall. It was the noise made by the quick closing of a book. Almo st at the same instant her fingers caught the switch, fumbled for a moment, pressed th e button which made the connection. The room was flooded with a shaded light more effec tive than a brighter illumination, since it did not dazzle her eyes. To her quick visu al survey nothing was revealed. There was no one in the room, no place where any person c ould have hidden so quickly. Again she started to scream; again she checked herself. She threw the covers back, slid to the floor in her bare feet, rushed to the hall door, glanced out not without trepidation. A night-light on the floor below illuminated the stairs. So far as she could see there was no one in the hal l. No sound caught her ears; nor did she now sense the presence of an intruder. She closed the door and locked it, laughing nervous ly at her fright. She stole to the window, looking out cautiously upon the spacious gr ounds of the Sutton estate. She studied the moonlit lawn, the trees and foliage her e and there—nowhere affording shelter for the skulking figure of a man. Finally she retur ned to bed, switching off the light, consoling herself with the thought that Lawncrest, the suburb where they lived, was notably free from tramps and prowlers. She smiled r uefully as she remembered once more the many times, as a child, she had been sure of the cause of her fear, only to learn it was some prank of her consciousness. Rearranging her pillows, half a dozen little square s as light and dainty as Violet herself, shaking out the mussed folds of her nightgown and o f the covers, pushing back the hair from her face, she settled to her rest, determined to sleep. But though her eyes closed dutifully, and though she slipped away into a measu re of unconsciousness, no genuine repose was hers. It seemed to her first that she stood in the depths of a tropical jungle, alone, friendless, unprotected. Overhead the trees towered to the heig ht of seventy and a hundred feet. At her feet was a slimy pool, trembling with life. Not far off two eyes, green, feline, menaced her from the depths of the underbrush. She started back, afraid; then she laughed, knowing there was no danger. “I’m only dreaming!” she exclaimed, aloud. “That may be,” explained a voice, a voice ever so v aguely familiar, a voice coming from nowhere and yet audible, “that may be, but you are in danger.” “I am not really here,” she asserted. “This is the place where you were born. Your feet r est upon the very spot where stood the tent in which your mother lay.Your first gasping baby outcry echoed feebly beneath these same century-old trees. Because you were born here you are in danger.” “How can that be?” she exclaimed, irritably. It seemed to her that she stamped her foot, fretful ly, as she used to do when a child. Almost as though that action broke the spell the sc ene changed. She did not see the transformation, nor realize it was taking place, un til suddenly she found herself standing on a rocky ledge, shivering, cold, clad still in th e filmy folds of her nightdress. Before her opened a vast cavern. The formation of t he rock was grotesque, much like the yawning mouth of some primeval monster. Then sh e caught an even more striking resemblance in the general contour of the opening, for the jutting shoulder of rock above the cave was a perfect, though gigantic, skull. Beh ind her, and to both sides, were sheer walls of granite rising up to the dim blue of a sky far above. Sweeping down into the ravine was the cold, dry wind, which chilled her, w hich wrapped her in a dread embrace, the embrace of death. For a moment she shuddered; attempted in vain to cry out. Then she remembered. She was dreaming.
Suddenly the cold light of a blue flame sprang up a t the back of the cavern, directly ahead of her. She saw that it burned in a crude alt ar, a cavity carved from solid rock, surrounded by rough representations of the Zodiac, by ancient Sabian symbols. With the inconsistency of dreams she found herself close. A priest, shrouded in black, made obeisance before the shrine. The faces of the other worshipers were concealed by their postures of reverence; there was no motion anywhere in the cave except on the part of the man in attendance upon the altar. “This is the Devil worship of Atlantis,” explained the mysterious voice. “This is the last surviving colony from the City of the Golden Gates, here at the headlands of the Orinoco River. In these mountains is concealed the golden t reasure of the High Priests of Atlantis, preserved faithfully by the worshipers of Satan for three hundred thousand years. Because of this treasure you are in danger.” “I am only dreaming,” she asserted, desperately. The voice made no reply. Suddenly there rose up, in the smoke of the burning offering, a wraith of indistinguishable mien and feature. To her horror it spoke, and she could hear. It was the same voice. It was the mysterious voice of interpretation, except that now it spoke in a language she could not understand. In response to a command of the specter one of the worshipers stepped to the altar. A gesture, and before the eyes of the dreamer the man , a black, was transformed slowly into the figure of a fox. The animal, waking to act ion, turned, and then with a snarl rushed straight for the dreaming girl. She tried to scream, to run, to raise an arm in sel f-protection. She was helpless. But, as before, she remembered, all at once, that the whole experience was a nightmare; that she could not be harmed. She smiled, and as she did so, the fox faded into nothing, disappeared before her. The ghostly presence hovering in the smoke of the a ltar spoke again, calling up another worshiper, another black. This man, transfo rmed into a wolf, sprang for Violet, and at her confident smile vanished in similar mann er. The wraith gestured again, and at the gesture a woman was changed to a snake. As this unclean thing wriggled toward her, its beady eyes raised and fixed upon hers, the drea mer shuddered. Not until the serpent coiled, raised itself before her, could she summon the smile which caused it to vanish. The ordeal was not completed. The fourth victim of the caprice of the apparition of smoke in the altar was not transformed to an animal , but at the gesture suddenly covered his face with a cry of agony, then turned to her, s lowly taking his hands from before his features. She cried out, stepping backward in horror. The fac e of the black had disappeared. A strange iridescent shimmering nothing occupied the area where his countenance should have been. It was—she knew this, subconsciously—the phantom face she had seen shadowed upon the wall of the bedroom. With upraised hands, with gasping breath and heart beating wildly in fear, she backed away. Steadily, relentlessly, the phantom-faced man advanced toward her. In sheer terror and desperation she nerved herself, forced the ghos t of a smile to white, dry, trembling lips. Immediately he disappeared, leaving her shake n, unstrung, for all that she knew it to be a nightmare. But there was no relief. With a sudden cry of rage the priest himself turned toward her. He stepped down from the altar, and with his draper ies held over his face hurried to confront her. Not until he was within the reach of her arm did he sweep aside the folds of heavy cloth from his features. One glance, and every instinct of self-control fled from her. She screamed again and again. She put up tiny fists, beating upon his shou lders, striving to drive him back, seeking in vain to close her eyes and so shut out the sight of him.