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Title: Mad Eyes
Author: Kenneth Robeson
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Language: English
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Date first posted: July 2006
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Mad Eyes
Kenneth Robeson



Chapter I. NIGHTMARE OF MONSTERS

"THEY'RE after me!" screamed the gaunt, loose-jointed man. "Take them
away!" His voice cracked out with a nasal twang.

The man's arms were long. His big hands flapped. He was beating at the
empty air about him. One set of fingers clutched suddenly at his
colorless hair. The hand came away with strands the man had torn
loose.

The long man was clad in brown overalls. Lights slanting across the
railroad yards showed him to be beyond middle age. His wild, terror-
filled screams were loud enough to be heard above the grinding and the
clanking of switch engines.

A cut of freight cars was being shunted onto a siding. The running man
evaded these by only a few feet. He was headed back toward the
building from which he had dashed.

A thin rain slashed down on the railroad yards. The mist of it almost
obscured the building from which the man had darted.

"They'll tear me to pieces!" screamed the man.

He pitched to his hands and knees in the middle of a track. Two
brakemen were riding the bumper step of a switch engine. One man
shouted hoarsely.

"Hey! Look out! You gone nuts? You'll be pulverized!"

The brakie's lantern swung. The switch engine stopped with a squealing
of brakes. The two railroad men scrambled off. But the tall man had
leaped to his feet.

"Grab 'em!" he shrieked. "That one's got ten heads!"

The two brakemen tried to seize and restrain the fellow. The man was
too quick for them. His hands apparently were batting at nothing.

"They're everywhere!" the tall man continued to scream.

Having escaped the switch engine, he leaped across the tracks. He
tried to reënter the building from which he had come. But there
appeared to be no doors.

"That's the watchman--an' he's gone nuts!" growled one brakeman.
"Anybody'd go off his bean, locked up in that crazy place every
night!"

"Yup!" barked the other railroad brakie. "This big guy, Doc Savage,
fixed them doors. Even the yardmaster can't open 'em!"



THE doors of the long, low, concrete building were as described by the
railroad men. The structure, unlike other industrial plants along the
metropolitan railroad yards, bore no sign.

In the thin rain, the building looked much like a tomb. No windows
appeared anywhere. The wildly screaming watchman had emerged from a
small door. This door was of chromium steel.

One end of the long building appeared the same as the other. But at
intervals--perhaps twice a week--one end would slide open. When this
took place, the yardmaster would be notified.

All of the incoming and outgoing shipments were handled in special
sealed cars. None of the regular yard crews were ever permitted
inside. It was not surprising that the railroad men viewed the plant
with suspicion.

Especially ominous were those doors. On a few occasions, the railroad
men had seen persons connected with the plant enter the place. It
seemed to the railroad men that these persons merely stopped and
looked at that small, low door of chromium steel.

The yardmen were not aware the small door and the house track slide
were locked by an electroscopic device. Those opening the doors were
equipped with radio short-wave control of these electroscopes.

The screaming watchman had now returned to the small door.

For a few seconds he beat his fists against the steel. His voice still
rose above the pounding of wheels in the yards. When he was not
hitting the door, the man was whirling and striking at something
invisible to the near-by brakemen.

"Guess we'd better sit on 'im an' get one of the yard bulls to take
'im out," suggested one of the brakemen. "He'll bump into something
around here!"

Though the engineer and fireman of the switch engine climbed down and
joined the chase, the screaming man evaded them.

His long arms writhed above his head, as if he were being tortured.
Though he might have been, as the railroad men imagined, in an
advanced stage of delirium tremens, John Corbin, the trusted watchman,
never would describe the frightful monsters he may have seen.

Leaving the concrete building, the man started running across the maze
of yard tracks. He leaped and screamed, tearing off some of his
clothing. The four men of the switch-engine crew were close behind
him.

"If he runs into one of them third rails--"

One of the brakemen yelled this. His cry was lost in the roar of a
local train coming out of Manhattan. The crazed watchman apparently
just missed being struck by this train.

He had fallen and rolled over when the local flashed past. Now he
again staggered to his feet. The blinding headlight of a limited
express came across the yard and bore down on the watchman.

The crew of the switch engine stood frozen to the spot. They could do
nothing more. Against the brilliant headlight of the express, the
leaping watchman showed for a few seconds. His long body with the
flapping arms was like that of some black human bug about to be
impaled.

"Goshamighty!" gritted the engineer of the switch engine. "It got
'im!"



THE roaring express had hit John Corbin, the watchman.

For an instant it was a fearful human projectile. Then the watchman
was only a bag of crushed bones, lying more than a hundred feet from
the spot where he had been struck.

The four men from the switch engine were the first to reach the
crushed body. The watchman's face had escaped disfigurement. But the
railroad men were sick.

John Corbin's eyes were still wide open. Though his hands no longer
batted at invisible monsters, all his features were twisted, as if the
man still saw something horrible.

"By criminy!" grunted the engineer. "If that's what hooch does, I'm
never takin' another drink!"

The whole tragedy thus far had the brand of being an overdose of
intoxicants.

"Couldn't blame a guy for takin' on a few snifters in that doggoned
graveyard buildin'!" said one of the brakemen.

One of the railroad men had summoned a yard bull. This representative
of the law had in turn put in a call for a regular State police
detail, an ambulance and the nearest deputy coroner. Waiting for the
arrival of proper authority, the yard bull went over to the long,
concrete building.

Like the other railroad men, the bull suspected the business of this
windowless, lockless structure might not be on the up and up. But the
name of Clark Savage, Jr., was a power with the railroad officials.

Among his countless other interests, the noted Doc Savage had a
considerable financial finger in the affairs of this transportation
line. The railroad officials knew only this building was under the
control of Doc Savage. They also knew the plant was operated by a
rather queer old codger, a Professor Lanidus Spargrove.

"That's funny," muttered the yard bull, walking around the end of the
building where two lines of railroad tracks disappeared under the
blank wall of the door. "Never saw it up like that before."

The yard bull bent down in the rain. This end of the concrete building
was in darkness. The bull played a flashlight across the two tracks.
The immense door was made to fit down evenly over the rails.

Now the big door was almost a foot above the tracks. It looked as if
the door had been opened and then improperly closed. The yard bull was
a bulky man. But there seemed to be space for him to crawl under the
door.

"Might as well have a look," he murmured, and started twisting under
the wall-like door.

Something happened. It was noiseless. Only the agonized yell of the
yard bull hit the ears of the railroad men beside the watchman's body.
Two men ran through the rain around the side of the building.

The yard bull had screamed only once. What the two railroad men saw
was worse than the body of the watchman. The door over the tracks had
dropped.

The yard bull had been part of the way under it.



THERE were two cases awaiting for the county police and the deputy
coroner. That of the yard bull was the most horrible. But the
brakemen, still beside the watchman's body, had quit looking at the
twisted face.

"I'm signin' off this yard after to-night," muttered one of the men.

The twin lights of a motor car showed on the highway just below where
the body of the watchman lay. The car stopped. Apparently the driver
had been attracted by the railroad men's lanterns near the track
above.

The man who got out of the automobile was a bulky figure. Yet he moved
up the embankment with the easy, soundless steps of a cat. A slicker
over his other clothes protected him from the rain.

"What's happened here?" said the new arrival. "One of your men get
hit?"

"No," said one brakeman. "It's the old guy who had the job of watchman
at that nutty building without the windows. Acted like he'd been hit
by the D. T.'s an' run right into the--"

The brakeman stopped speaking abruptly. His mouth hung open.

The big man from the car on the highway had thrown back his slicker.
He had dropped on one knee beside the dead John Corbin. One big hand
was passing softly over the dead watchman's face.

The stranger was making a swift examination. The light from the
brakemen's lanterns were shining on him. It was this that had caused
the brakeman to quit talking so suddenly.

For the driver's hands were the color of bright bronze. The skin of
his face and his thickly corded neck was of the same golden hue. The
rain slid off his hair as if it were a waterproof mask.

The hair, also, was bronze in color. It was only slightly different
from the skin.

The brakeman found his voice again after his survey.

"You must be Doc Savage himself," he said. "Then maybe you know more
about this guy than we do. Say! One of the bulls got hurt over there!
A couple of the boys have gone over!"

The big bronze man rubbed the tips of his fingers across the forehead
of the dead watchman. He straightened to his feet. Once more the
slicker was around his body. But his eyes were fixed on the brakemen.

These orbs seemed now to be shining like flakes of polished copper.

"You say one of your men was hurt over by the building?" asked the
bronze man. "I shall see about it."

The bronze man walked around the corner of the building. The men there
could do nothing for the yard bull. The door on his body weighed tons.
The bronze man stood behind them.

Perhaps the others thought the bronze man only looked at the great
door over the house tracks. One hand was under his slicker. Suddenly,
the great door started upward.

"Remove the man," stated the bronze giant. "Have the police been
called?"

"Ye-yes, Mr. Savage," stammered one of the railroad men. "I--I guess
all this trouble's over that watchman hittin' the hooch."

The body of the yard bull was then removed. The bronze man said
nothing. When the railroad men looked where he had been, he was no
longer visible.



POLICE INSPECTOR HIGGINS had an Adam's apple which seemed to make him
mad. When he talked, this lump slid up and down his thin neck.
Inspector Higgins talked most of the time.

"Well! Well! Well!" jerked out Inspector Higgins, walking around the
bodies of John Corbin, the watchman, and the yard bull. "Whyntcha stop
'im from runnin' head-on into that express? An' where's the engine
that hit 'im? Why'd this bull crawl under the door, an' how'd he get
out? Answer me that?"

The railroad men attempted to reply to all of these several inquiries
at once. One said, "Well, the watchman was crazy with too much booze
an' he got away from us."

The deputy coroner who was also the medical examiner shook his head
mildly.

"You're all wrong about the liquor," he stated. "This man shows no
evidence of having been drinking. It must have been something else."

The railroad men stared at each other.

"Then it must be that crazy building where Doc Savage makes machinery
for war or something," one man volunteered. "When the watchman came
out of there, he was nuts an' runnin' in circles. An' when the bull
tried to crawl in, the door come down on him."

Inspector Higgins hopped around the building on his skinny legs. He
took in the railroad door with a jumping Adam's apple and a gleam in
his eyes.

"Well! Well! Well!" he snapped. "Somebody open these doors, an' we'll
have a look at what started this!"

"You have to know how to look at them doors to make them open,"
grinned a railroad man. "I guess it's done with mirrors or something."

"Don't try bein' funny!" snapped Inspector Higgins. "You fellas in the
yard know how to get cars in and out! Where's the yardmaster?"

"He don't know no more than the rest of us," said another railroad
man. "That dump's Doc Savage's own plant, an' none of the crews ever
get inside."

"That's a good story!" yapped Inspector Higgins. "Then how in time
didja get the bull's body out from under that door? Will you answer me
that?"

"Sure," said a railroad man. "Doc Savage himself just stood there an'
looked at the door. It opened and closed."



"DOC SAVAGE?" barked Inspector Higgins. "Well, where is this Doc
Savage? This is his trouble! Where'd he go? Why didn't you hold him
here until duly constituted authority arrived?"

A chunky brakeman scratched his head.

"You mean you think we should've grabbed Doc Savage himself?" he said.
"Say, from what I've heard of that big bronze guy I wouldn't try
grabbin' him if he was already tied up with barbed wire!"

"I guess you fellas are just dumb because you're shackies on a
railroad, or maybe it's the other way around!" sneered Inspector
Higgins. "Me, I'm gettin' into that dump an' seein' what's been goin'
on! Come on, boys, bust down that little door!"

Inspector Higgins was accompanied by half a dozen of his men. If he
said break down a door, it was their job to do it. They failed,
however, to carry out this laudable intention.

"Well! Well! Well!" snapped Inspector Higgins. "Jam it in with the end
of a railroad tie!"

But though he added his bony weight to the tie, the improvised door-
buster might as well have been rammed into the two-foot thickness of
the concrete itself.

"I would suggest calling Professor Spargrove, the fellow who runs this
joint," said one of the railroad men. "He'll just look at that door
and it'll open up."



Chapter II. VANISHED TRAIN

WHILE Inspector Higgins was making his useless and profane effort to
break down one small steel door, a closed car was smashing several
speed records. This car slewed and skidded alarmingly in the rain.

"Listen, you misfit of nature, you either slow down or I'm getting out
of this bus and walking the rest of the way!" rasped a stridently
sharp voice. "You might bounce that solid skull of yours off the
concrete without any damage, but I've got something inside mine I'd
like to keep there!"

The apish-looking driver twisted the speeding car dangerously near the
edge of the concrete. He seemed to have an uncanny skill at just
shaving the soft shoulder of the highway.

"There wouldn't be nothin' much missin', unless you happened to bite
off your tongue," said the driver, in a childlike voice. "Anyway, I
could make this car climb a tree."

"You slow down, or I'm ramming about ten inches of this sword cane
into your neck!" snapped the other man. "Now what--That cursed shote
of yours has gone and bit Chemistry! In about a minute--"

The hunched-over driver straightened. One long arm whipped over the
back of the seat. A hairy fist smashed into a flat nose. A voice much
like that of some angry child jabbered.

The driver skidded the car to a stop with a reckless disregard for
brakes and tires.

"Hey!" yelled the driver. "You take that wrench away from that bob-
tailed monkey of yours, or I'll wring both your necks!"

The thing in the back seat of the car did look much like a bob-tailed
monkey. He was a baboon, and tailless. Also, he was a smart baboon.
The thin, raspy-voiced man in the car was Theodore Marley Brooks,
better known as "Ham."

Ham was a lean man. He dressed in most perfect taste. And he was one
of the world's smartest lawyers.

His companion, Andrew Blodgett Mayfair, was everything in appearance
that Ham was not. Known as "Monk," though he was one of half a dozen
leading industrial chemists, he really resembled a gorilla. His arms
were too long and his legs too short. His forehead sloped, and his
eyebrows were too near the top of his skull.

Added to this, Monk was thickly covered with wiry, reddish hair.



THE wild scrimmage now taking place in the back of the closed car was
between two of the world's oddest animals.

One was an Arabian woods hog, composed of mostly long ears, and long
legs. The other was a tailless baboon. The baboon came from South
America.

The hog answered to the name of Habeas Corpus, which was a direct
insult to the impeccable Ham. The baboon had been named Chemistry,
with malice aforethought on the part of the lawyer.

Just now, Habeas Corpus had taken a good-sized bite out of one of the
baboon's legs. Chemistry knew better than to risk himself close to the
razor-edged teeth of the hog. A tire wrench was handy.

Chemistry was in the act of trying to brain Habeas Corpus, when Monk
interfered. The baboon chattered and cracked the heavy wrench across
Monk's arm.

"Daggonit!" squeaked Monk. "This time I'll put that baboon brother of
yours to sleep for keeps!"

"That would be no less than fratricide," drawled Ham. "You can't go
killing off your own relatives."

How far this bickering would have continued never would be determined.
Monk twisted suddenly back in his seat.

"Good gosh!" exploded Monk. "Didja see that?"

"Well, what am I supposed to see, and where?" snapped Ham.

"Huh!" grunted Monk. "Well, it was either something that went past us
on the road or up on the railroad or between the highway and the
railroad. I just got a glimpse of it an' then it was gone."

"I knew it," nodded Ham solemnly. "It's been creeping up on you
gradually. Nothing passed us. I see the lights of a car coming around
the bend ahead, but that's all there is."

Monk scratched his furry head. His small eyes glittered.

"You didn't see anything that might have been a train?" he said
plaintively. "Not on the track--maybe down here on the road?"

"Too bad, too bad," said Ham mournfully. "I'll come and see you some
time in the hospital. I'll try and take good care of Habeas Corpus for
you."

Monk started the car. But he continued to stare up at the railroad.
About ten minutes before a limited express had roared northward. Since
then, Ham was sure nothing had moved on the lines of rails.

"Perhaps all this mystery about Doc's new machine has gone to your
head," suggested Ham helpfully. "This must be about the biggest thing
he's ever tried. He hasn't even taken Renny or Long Tom or Johnny in
on it. They're supposed to meet us out here at midnight."

"Daggonit!" complained Monk. "You know, I don't like this! We haven't
seen Doc for three days, then he calls us by radio. It must be
somethin' Doc's afraid somebody wants to steal."

Ham and Monk were speeding toward the tomblike plant they knew only as
the Spargrove Laboratories. The same plant where even now one
Inspector Higgins was jumping up and down because he had failed to
break in the door.

The inspector, though, had succeeded in raising Professor Spargrove.
The excited professor would not be more than half an hour in reaching
his locked laboratories.



HABEAS CORPUS and Chemistry temporarily adjusted their war. They
watched each other with bright, wary eyes.

Ham caught Monk's right arm.

"Look out," he cautioned. "That driver's hitting seventy, and he's
taking most of the road."

"Howlin' calamities!" squawked Monk. "You think I'm movin' over for
any road hog! I'll--"

Two blinding headlights leaped down the road directly toward their
car. For the fraction of a second, it seemed as if the other driver
intended crashing them head-on. Monk quit talking to hold as far to
the side of the highway as he could.

"I told you!" rapped Ham. "Hey, hold her!"

The lawyer's warning was too late. The flying headlights had stabbed
on into the rain. But where the four tracks of shining, wet concrete
had been brilliant, Monk was now driving into what resembled a
floating pool of ink.

Monk's hand reached out and turned a switch. He clapped huge, over-
sized goggles to his eyes. Still he was looking into a smoky cloud.

An infra-red beam of invisible light should have penetrated almost any
smoke screen. But this was something more than mere smoke. It had the
density and opaqueness of black velvet.

Ham let out a yell, but it was somewhat scattered by his head having
been banged into the roof of the car.

The reason for this was simple enough. Their car was no longer on its
wheels. In the black cloud, the automobile had plunged from the road.
It was bouncing along on its top. It traveled thus for possibly fifty
yards, before it rolled over and again stood upright.

Ham was bruised and scratched in several places. Only the glass being
bulletproof and shatterproof had prevented serious injury.

"All right, you imitation of an ape, I hope you broke your nose!"
yelped Ham. "Just why in the devil do you want to try driving upside
down?"

Monk made no reply to this. The inky cloud was now clearing away.

Monk was whipping the car around. But few motor vehicles would have
taken that shock and continued to run.

But the tires were of sponge rubber. The chassis was of special alloy.
From wheels to top, nothing much less than a cannonball could have
wrecked this car's amazing motor.

"Run me offa the road, will they?" exploded Monk. "Daggonit, I'll show
'em!"

"Good gosh!" groaned Ham. "Now I'm in for it!"

Riding with Monk on a normal drive was filled with dire possibilities.
But riding with Monk when he was in a hurry was only a degree short of
suicide.



THE car which had emitted the inky cloud must have gained at least two
miles. It was still being trailed by a dense screen of smoke. Monk was
favored in one respect. A brisk wind was now whipping the rain in
sheets across the highway. This gave glimpses of the concrete in
Monk's headlights. Ahead, the tail-lights of the other car jumped in
and out of Monk's vision.

"And when you get those fellows, then what?" inquired Ham
sarcastically. "They haven't done anything to us but throw a little
smoke in our eyes."

"I'm findin' out what kind of juice throws that smoke screen,"
announced the stubborn Monk. "Maybe we could use some of it."

Ham was watching the red tail-lights of the other car.

"I wouldn't be too sure we'll catch up with that fellow," he
announced. "There's something funny about that motor. You haven't been
gaining an inch."

Monk had the gas in his car wide open. The big chemist was mad all the
way through. He knew Ham was telling the truth. For ten miles, he
hadn't gained an inch.

"Suppose we call it off and get back to meet Doc," suggested Ham. "The
message said midnight. That isn't far away."

Monk was holding the car at close to a hundred. The lights bored
around a curve. They picked up a pair of brilliant red reflectors.
Ham's fingers gripped Monk's right arm.

"Grade crossing, insect!" he rapped. "Pull her down!"

The red reflectors told where the highway crossed the lines of the
railroad.

Monk had made no movement to slacken the speed.

Abruptly, the red reflectors disappeared. They were blotted out as if
a giant hand had smashed them off the crossing. The night was
shattered with a rending, crackling crash. Two red tail-lights went up
in the air.

These lights acted as if they were attached to pinwheels.

The crash died suddenly into a grinding drag. It sounded as if steel
and glass were being dragged along the ground. One wild, human scream
of pain came out of the darkness.

"Howlin' calamities!" exploded Monk, jamming on the brakes. "That car
got hit at the crossin'! It's smashed to splinters!"

"Hit by what?" Ham grated. "There isn't a train in sight! Pull over,
Monk! We'll have to look into this!"

The highway swung onto the railroad on a slight grade. Both of the red
reflectors had been broken off. Nearly a hundred yards from the road
crossing a bright flame flared up.

"Hurry up, Monk!" shouted Ham, running along one railroad track. "It's
that car, an' it's on fire! They'll be burned up!"

Ham was correct in part. The blaze was shooting from what had been a
part of an automobile. Other parts were scattered along the track.

Monk had twisted the headlight beams of his own car to cover part of
the space. Ham was using one of Doc Savage's special generator
flashlights. Both men were prepared for the shock of coming upon a
scene of horror.



MONK and Ham reached the blazing fuel tank together.

"Good grief!" rapped Ham. "What became of the people in that car? Say!
You don't suppose they jumped and made their get-away before the car
crashed?"

Monk was standing in the middle of a track, scratching his head.

"It's confounded funny," he muttered. "Ham, there ain't any sign of
anybody havin' been in that car, an' if there was, what hit 'em?"

"Why, it had to be a train--" Ham began, then stopped. Then he
blurted, "Monk, we didn't see any train! That car couldn't have been
hit! It's been fifteen minutes since that last train passed us!"

"Daggonit!" growled Monk. "I don't like this! I looked all along the
road where we stopped! There ain't any place the people in that car
could have jumped out! Their lights were movin' as fast as ours all
the time!"

Examination of parts of the car's seats showed no marks of blood. Monk
took out a small bottle. He shook a greenish powder over the plush of
the wrecked car's seats. Immediately, there appeared a faint glowing.

"Every seat was occupied," he announced. "There were five persons in
that car within the past few minutes. So where did they go?"

Ham was kicking at the tire of one wrecked wheel. He bent down and ran
his hand along the rubber.

"Listen, Monk!" he stated emphatically. "This is one of Doc's own
cars! That tire's sponge rubber and can't be punctured! Have a look at
this!"

Ham's foot kicked over a badly shattered infra-red beam projector
among the wreckage.

"Howlin' calamities!" squeaked Monk. "You don't suppose Doc could have
been in that car? I've been all around, an' nobody got hurt! Ham, I'll
betcha something's happened to Doc! We'll--"

"Wait a minute," interrupted Ham. "Here comes something!"

The something was a thumping, banging gasoline car running on one
railroad track. It came from the direction of Manhattan. The lantern
of a railroad worker illumined a man in overalls.

The gasoline car chugged to a stop. The man climbed off.

"Hey! What's all this?" he demanded. "Somebody smack off them crossin'
lights?"

Ham prodded Monk's ribs.

"About five minutes ago one of your trains smashed an automobile, and
these pieces along here are all that's left," stated Ham. "The train
didn't stop, and neither did the occupants of the car, so far as we
can ascertain."



THE railroad man held up his lantern and looked closely at Ham's lean
face.

"You're screwy, brother," he announced. "There ain't been no train up
the line or down it since the express, an' that went north more'n
twenty minutes ago. I guess I oughta know, because I'm the track
inspector on this line. I just come buzzin' up the road an' there
ain't a wheel turnin' in this ten-mile stretch."

"Is that so?" complained Monk. "That car could've smashed itself, but
it didn't scatter the pieces a hundred yards along the track!"

The railroad track inspector walked up and down muttering.

"It's screwy, that's what it is," he repeated. "No automobile could be
hit by a train where there ain't been no train. It's as nutty as what
happened a while ago down in the yards. The watchman at that loony
place they say is bein' run by Doc Savage was knocked off tryin' to
climb over an express an' one of the bulls got himself caught in a
door that don't have no locks, an'--"

"Good gravy!" rapped out Ham. "Monk, come on! Now we have got
something to dig into! What did they find inside that Spargrove plant,
if that's the place you mean?"

The track inspector rubbed his dazed eyes.

"So far, they ain't been able to bust in," he said. "But the police is
lookin' for the fellow they call Doc Savage, and--"

Monk was loping back toward the car. He stopped abruptly.

A girl's voice had cried out. It came from a clump of bushes several
yards above the railroad. This was on the opposite side from the parts
of the wrecked car.

"Howlin' calamities!" yelled Monk. "Ham, there was somebody left from
that car! It's a woman!"

Monk's flashlight beam picked out a face. It was the white, round face
of a young woman. Her eyes were as snappy as black opals in the light.

"Well, can't one of you help me out of here?" she demanded.



Chapter III. DOC SAVAGE ACCUSED

THE young woman was plumply rounded out. She did not seem quite the
type to have a fiery temper. But sparks were snapping in her black
eyes. Her voice was edged with anger.

"Hurry up, funny face, and pry me loose from these thorns!" the girl
demanded of Monk. "It's a wonder I'm alive! Oh! You're one of Doc
Savage's men! Well, I'm not a bit surprised!"

Monk's long arms lifted a hundred and fifty pounds of fairly good-
looking woman from the bushes. He set her on her feet between the
rails of one of the tracks.

"You don't mean to tell me you were in that wrecked car?" said Ham.
"You don't look as if you were hurt much."

"That car?" exclaimed the young woman. "You think I was in that? I
couldn't have been, the way it looks. But I must have come here some
way! After Doc Savage started looking at me, I knew something was
wrong!"

The girl's black eyes flashed at Ham. She had smooth, black hair and a
white forehead. Her mouth was round and small and very red.

"I knew it!" exploded Monk. "I told you, Ham! Doc's in trouble!
Where'd you come from, miss, and how--"

"Don't try to kid me!" snapped the young woman. "Both of you belong to
Doc Savage, so you must have been with him! Sure, that's it! You were
there when he held up the laboratories and put me in a trance with his
whirlwind eyes!"

"Hold everything just a minute," suggested Ham. "Let's begin at the
beginning. You're saying Doc Savage hypnotized you or something like
that? I presume then you came from the Spargrove Laboratories. You
claim you didn't know you were in that wrecked car?"

"You heard me telling you I don't remember anything after Doc Savage
looked at me in that funny way he has," declared the young woman.
"Anyway, I'm Jane Davidson, and I've been helping Professor Spargrove
at his laboratory."

"I don't care who you are!" howled Monk. "I want to know if Doc was in
that smashed car!"

"How many times do I have to say I don't know?" rapped Jane Davidson.
"I may have been in the car! Probably I was! But I don't remember
anything after Doc Savage looked at me! Besides that, I was called to
the laboratories to help Professor Spargrove with some kind of meeting
for Doc Savage and--"

"I believe you, Miss Davidson," interrupted Ham. "You've got Doc all
wrong, but I guess you think you're telling the truth. Monk, put Miss
Davidson in our car. I'm having a look around. She couldn't have come
here alone."

"I won't go with you in any car!" snapped Jane Davidson.

Sheets of rain whipped down on gusts of wind. The track inspector
grinned a little.

"Maybe I could give you a lift, miss," he suggested.

"On that thing?" said the girl, looking at the rain-swept gasoline
engine. "I should say not!"



JANE DAVIDSON appeared to be an extremely contrary young woman. She
suddenly changed her mind. And from the loose folds of her coat she
produced a stubby-looking automatic.

"All right!" she stated. "I'll go with you in the car!"

She walked along the tracks toward the highway crossing. Monk ambled
beside her. Though the ugly chemist was worried about what might have
happened to Doc, he was wearing a crooked grin.

Monk liked young women with spirit.

"Daggonit!" he said plaintively. "You don't have to wave that pistol!
We were on our way to meet Doc! We'll take good care of you!"

"You certainly will!" announced Jane Davidson grimly. "And if
something's gone wrong at the laboratories, I'm sure Doc Savage knows
about it!"

The track inspector's one-lunged gasoline car chugged away. The
railroad man was going to the nearest point where he could report the
crossing smash. He acted as if he were glad to get away from the place
and the company.

Ham, meanwhile, climbed the steep bank above the railroad. He used his
flashlight around the place where the girl had been tangled in the
thorny bushes. The only evidence of her having been there was a scrap
of her dress hanging on a branch.

"It's confounded crazy," murmured Ham. "There are her tracks in the
mud after Monk lifted her out, but there are none coming up. So she
must have been thrown out of that car."

Ham saw Jane Davidson and Monk walk into the headlight beams of their
own car still standing on the highway. At that instant, the lawyer
became conscious of a peculiar note on the wind.

The sound was like the wind had suddenly blown across taut, melodious
strings. It was eerie, something like a tune, yet having no clear
melody. It seemed to proceed from a point back of some near-by rocks.

"Doc!" exclaimed Ham. "That sounds like him, and yet it isn't exactly
the same!"

In moments of stress, danger or concentration, Doc Savage nearly
always emitted a weird trilling. The sound was a part of the bronze
giant.

But something warned Ham to proceed with caution. The lawyer whipped a
few yards toward the rocks in the darkness. As he moved, the smooth,
black cane he carried separated. In his right hand played a gleaming,
pointed sword blade.

The sword cane was Ham's favorite weapon. The point of the blade was
covered with an anaesthetic drug. The lawyer needed only to touch an
enemy to render him instantly unconscious.

Ham slipped between two large rocks. The trilling sound had not been
repeated. Rain slapped into the lawyer's eyes. He could see only a few
feet ahead. But by concentrating on one point, he was sure he had seen
a shadow move.

"Doc!" Ham called out softly. "You in there?"

A husky, whispering laugh came from close behind Ham. Something like a
human foot crunched on the rocks. The lawyer whipped around, bringing
the sword blade into play.

Ham was aware he had been tricked. He was surrounded by what seemed
only swiftly moving shadows in the drenching rain. He thrust at one of
these with his sword. To his astonishment, the keen-pointed blade
passed directly through one of the shadows.

The bright steel jammed into a rock. The blade snapped. Something made
a hissing noise in the rain. Ham was forced to drop both his cane and
the broken blade. A soft, hairy noose of some kind had dropped over
his head and tightened around his throat.

The noose cut off Ham's breath. He attempted to let out a yell.
Somehow, he got his fingers under the cord. But he could not free
enough breath to utter a warning.

Again there came a hoarse, whispering laugh. This was more like the
wind than a human voice. A coarse, sacklike affair descended over
Ham's head. Kicking and threshing around, the lawyer was pulled to the
ground.

The inside of the sack had a sweetish smell. In a few seconds, Ham lay
still.



MONK looked up at the hill above the railroad. He could not see where
Ham had disappeared. He called out several times.

"Now I've got to go an' find that daggoned dumb shyster," growled
Monk. "You get in the car an' keep dry."

Jane Davidson started to climb into the car. She still held her stubby
automatic. An unearthly squeal came from the car's rear seat. It was
followed by a coughing grunt of rage.

"Good heavens!" exclaimed Jane Davidson. "I might have known there was
some trick!"

She backed hastily into Monk's arms. The ferocious, small eyes of
Chemistry, the tailless baboon, were shining at her, as well as those
of Habeas Corpus.

"They won't hurt you," assured Monk. "That's Habeas Corpus, my pig,
and Chemistry, Ham's pet baboon."

For the first time, Jane Davidson seemed shaken.

"I--I guess I'll wait out here," she said. "I've been in enough
trouble to-night without mixing up with a menagerie."

Monk quieted Habeas Corpus. He dragged the pig out by one ear.

"Now you'll be all right," he promised. "Come on, Chemistry, we've
gotta find Ham."

Jane Davidson got into the car out of the rain. She kept a tight hold
on the stubby pistol. Monk loped across the railroad toward the hill.
Habeas Corpus did not seem to mind being toted by one long ear.

The tailless baboon grumbled and grunted. But he followed. His ambling
movement was not much different from that of Monk. The baboon had
sense. He hunched ahead of Monk.

In the rocks above the tracks, the baboon halted. He pounded his hairy
breast and whined much like a human baby. Monk called Ham's name, but
got no reply.

The tailless baboon had picked up some object. He was hitting a rock
with it. There was a metallic sound. Monk used the powerful generator
flashlight.

Chemistry was whipping the hilted half of Ham's broken sword blade
against a rock. Monk found the remainder of the sword and the cane
sheath.

The big chemist whipped out the superfiring pistol which looked like a
small drum with a tube sticking out of one side. He called and moved
with infinite caution among the rocks.

The stones showed no footprints. Monk attempted to use chemical
tracing powder, but the rain had washed out possible marks.

The chemist produced a small, flat box. When he moved a switch,
nothing apparently happened. But in the invisible ray of black light
emanating from this box some queer marks appeared on the hard ground.

These looked like the prints of a man's heels. They showed where Ham
had come up the hill. Where he had stood between the rocks, the marks
were all mixed up. They glowed with blue light.

This was simply a substance contained in the spongy rubber heels of
Ham's shoes. It was one of several chemicals which fluoresced under
the black light.

"Howlin' calamities!" squealed Monk. "Ham didn't walk away from here!"

This was apparent. The imprints of Ham's heels ceased abruptly in the
confusion of marks where the broken sword had been picked up.

Monk loped back and forth among the rocks. The tailless baboon was
even more excited. But from that one point in the rocks, Monk could
find no trail.

Perhaps Monk would have remained, searching all night. But from the
highway below came the strident whine of a radio. The whine became two
words.

"Ham--Monk! Ham--Monk!"

With a last, fruitless look around, Monk ran back down the hill. The
baboon followed, pounding his breast and chattering.



JANE DAVIDSON was huddled miserably in the seat of the car when Monk
returned.

"The radio's been calling you," she said. "It couldn't be possible,
but I'm sure it's Doc Savage's voice."

The radio speaker under the dashboard of the car still whined out the
call for Ham and Monk. It sounded like the voice of Doc Savage.

Monk immediately tuned in with a reply.

"Ham--Monk!" came the order. "You will proceed at once to the
Spargrove Laboratories. Renny and Johnny will join us there."

Monk gave an O. K. to the summons. But his homely face was twisted
like a crossword puzzle.

"That couldn't have been anybody but Doc," he stated. "But you think
Doc was with you in that smashed car. And now Ham has been grabbed!"

"Ham has been seized?" said Jane Davidson. "I don't believe it! And if
that was Doc Savage on the radio, then he had some one else bring me
out here and try to kill me on that crossing! I'll bet Ham went away
with whoever brought me out here!"

Monk glared at the girl. The big chemist liked most pretty women. But
Jane Davidson was plainly rubbing his fur the wrong way.

"Doc!" said Monk over the radio. "Ham's been grabbed out here! One of
your cars--"

Doc's voice cut in on the other end of the broadcast.

"I know all about the car. Ham will be all right. You will do as
directed. Bring with you the young woman who was in the wreck at the
crossing!"

Monk let out a gasp. Jane Davidson spoke with a sneer.

"So, your wonderful Doc Savage didn't have anything to do with trying
to kill me?" she jeered. "You'd better do as you're told, and if you
make one wrong move, I'll be driving this car back alone!"

Jane Davidson jabbed the stubby automatic emphatically into Monk's
ribs. Monk was too puzzled to even grunt.



Chapter IV. MISSING GLOBES

AS Monk headed his car reluctantly toward the Spargrove Laboratories,
another small car was reaching the locked doors of the tomblike
structure. From this small vehicle climbed an odd figure.

The man was short of stature. He wore a shabby, hairy overcoat. The
fuzzy hair of this coat seemed to continue where it touched his neck.
The hair on the man's head was thick and bushy.

The man wore what once was known as a mutton-chop beard. This stuck
out belligerently on both sides of his face. It made his face look
smaller and funnier than it would have been. It was small and funny,
anyway.

The man's little eyes jumped around under bushy brows. He came to the
group around the small locked door of the Spargrove Laboratories.

"What's this? What's this?" he sputtered. "Who called the police to
interfere with my work? Where's Jane? If you wanted in, why didn't you
get hold of John Corbin?"

"Well! Well! Well!" gabbled Inspector Higgins. "Wasn't you told this
John Corbin went bugs an' tried to bump an express train offa the
track? An' this infernal trap of yours murdered one of the railroad
bulls, an' you can't be runnin' any place that won't open its doors
when duly constituted authority wants to get in!"

"John Corbin's been killed?" said the hairy man. "I'm Professor
Spargrove, of course. Well, why didn't you have the young woman or Doc
Savage let you in? They're both inside."

"Yeah?" rasped Inspector Higgins, hopping around. "An' what other
crooked contraptions you got in there? Unlock this door before we get
a few sticks of dynamite an' blast hell out of it!"

Despite the news about John Corbin's sudden and untimely end,
Professor Lanidus Spargrove had a will of his own.

"I want to see John Corbin's body," he announced. "Then perhaps I will
open the door, if Doc Savage consents."

"You'll perhaps?" yelled Inspector Higgins. "If Doc Savage consents?
I'm representin' the law in this end of the county!"

"Let me see John Corbin's body," said Professor Spargrove mildly. "I
will then take up the matter of opening the door. I don't believe I'd
try dynamite if I were you, inspector. It is possible there are some
elements in the building which might cause you inconvenience."

"Inconvenience?" shouted Inspector Higgins. "Two bump-offs already,
an' this crooked dump all locked up, an' you talk about inconvenience!
What inconvenience, Professor Spargrove, if that's your right name an'
not some alias?"

Professor Spargrove was nervous and excited, but he still spoke
calmly.

"In other words, an attempt to blow those doors probably would set off
an explosive that would make TNT seem like a penny firecracker," he
stated.

A few of the railroad men were beginning to ease away from the spot.
The mild deputy coroner spoke.

"Whether it would blast this place or not, inspector, I don't believe
I'd try crossing up any property belonging to Doc Savage."

Inspector Higgins's Adam's apple jumped. Inspector Higgins hopped.



THE body of John Corbin had been covered with canvas. Professor
Spargrove swept back the protective cloth with quick but gentle hands.
The eyes under his bushy brows missing no detail of his dead
watchman's corpse.

One hand rubbed across John Corbin's cold forehead. Into the eyes of
Professor Spargrove came a speculative gleam.

"He was like this when the express hit him?" questioned Professor
Spargrove.

"Well, he was jumping around and fighting pink elephants or
something," volunteered a railroad brakeman.

"Yes?" said Professor Spargrove slowly. "Coroner, have you removed
anything from the body?"

The mild deputy coroner bristled.

"It is not my custom to disturb a corpse more than necessary!" he
said.

"Curious, most curious," murmured Professor Spargrove. "So John Corbin
was running away from something?"

"That's it! That's it!" piped up Inspector Higgins. "An' my men are
bringin' up half a case of powder! In about one minute I'm going into
that crazy plant of yours!"

Rain slashed across Professor Spargrove's hairy face. The deputy
coroner remarked that Doc Savage himself had examined the body of the
watchman.

"Then I think Doc Savage went away down the road in a blue sedan,"
said the deputy coroner. "If there's explosive inside, that Higgins
will play the devil. He's a stubborn guy."

Sticks of the yellow-wrapped dynamite were being piled in front of the
small, chromium steel door. Inspector Higgins yapped at his men.

"You're being detained, Professor Spargrove!" he rapped out. "Just in
case you've really got explosives contrary to duly constituted
authority inside this joint!"

Inspector Higgins had slashed one end of a stick of powder. In this he
had stuffed an explosive cap.

"You're right, inspector," stated Professor Spargrove. "We would be
detained. Too much detained, in fact. So now--"

The hands of the professor fumbled under his hairy coat. He was
looking at the chromium steel door. The door swung silently open. A
low passage appeared. It was lighted by a row of small incandescent
bulbs.

"My gosh!" grunted a railroad man. "The hairy guy just looked at it!
An' them cops have been buttin' it with a railroad tie!"

But something else was taking place. Professor Spargrove seemed to
have lost his mind. He seemed to be talking into his own mutton-chop
whiskers.

"Spargrove speaking. Is it all right, Doc, to permit the police to
enter?"

Out of the rainy air came a voice. It might have been an emanation
from the hairs of Professor Spargrove's beard. It was a compact radio
set attached to his body.

"Let the authorities investigate in your own judgment."

"Come in, Inspector Higgins, and you other gentlemen," invited
Professor Spargrove. "I will find my assistant. Undoubtedly she is
informed of what has taken place. You will do well to remain in this
main room. I will not be responsible for trouble if any one enters
other compartments."

The interior of the Spargrove Laboratories appeared to be of cellular
construction. One central room seemed to be the assembling compartment
for several types of ponderous machinery.

Professor Spargrove directed the body of John Corbin be brought into
the main room. He spoke to Inspector Higgins.

"You say my watchman is reported to have seen various strange things
which caused those who observed him to believe him suffering from
liquor or hallucinations?"

"Well! Well! Well!" grunted Inspector Higgins. "There ain't any doubt
but what he had the D. T.'s or somethin'! He was seein' things that
wasn't there!"

At this moment Professor Spargrove himself looked a bit off.

"John Corbin really saw those things," he said quietly. "Only I didn't
know my assistant knew of the secret. I shall have to inquire into
this. You will please wait here."



PROFESSOR SPARGROVE whisked himself through a small inner door. Like
those outside, this seemed to open as he looked at it. In less than
ten seconds, Professor Spargrove leaped back into view. For the first
time, he appeared greatly excited.

He opened another door and shouted. "Jane! Jane! Where are you? Come
here at once!"

Professor Spargrove was running from one small room to another. He
dashed back into the central chamber. This time, all his calmness had
departed.

"My whole life's work--all gone!" he yelled. "I tell you, it's
impossible! All of it's gone! Jane! Jane! Why didn't Doc Savage stop
them?"

Inspector Higgins imposed a hard hand on one of the excited
professor's shoulders. This copper was not so dumb. He knew the time
to break a case was when he had the other fellow somewhat out of his
head.

"All right! All right!" snapped Inspector Higgins. "So your whole
life's work is gone, is it? What's gone?"

Professor Spargrove led the way through a small door. Here was another
large room. Along one side was a loading platform. Switch tracks
penetrated all of the vaultlike building.

"Jane Davidson, my assistant, has been kidnaped!" yelled Professor
Spargrove. "She preceded me here to attend a meeting with Doc Savage
and some of his men! Now they're gone--gone--and the two copper globes
weighed more than three tons apiece!"

Professor Spargrove was pointing with a trembling hand at huge
concrete blocks. These bore the fresh imprint of other objects. They
seemed to have been the foundation for heavy machinery. Two blocks
looked as if they had been fitted to the base of immense globes.

"They were both made of copper!" shouted Professor Spargrove. "They
weighed more than three tons apiece! There were four big generators on
those other bases! The whole thing would be more than ten tons! And
they were all here less than three hours ago when I left! Who opened
the doors?"



INSPECTOR HIGGINS scratched his nubbin of a head. Anyway, he was sure
none of his coppers had opened the doors. The railroad men on duty all
night all immediately stated the plant doors had not been opened at
any time, except when John Corbin had emerged.

Professor Spargrove was walking around and around the concrete
foundations. The other men could see plainly enough that heavy
machinery had been removed only recently. The marks of the copper
globes were bright. These would have tarnished in a few hours.

"Well! Well! Well!" rapped Inspector Higgins. "So somebody walked in
an' picked up ten tons of copper an' iron and walked out with it?
Maybe that crazy watchman was carrying it in his pockets when he
butted into that train!"

Professor Spargrove appeared to be looking at the big sliding doors
through which the tracks had their exit. The big doors went up
silently. The professor whipped outside. Inspector Higgins was close
beside him.

"Look here!" yelled Professor Spargrove. "These are truck tracks! It
was a big truck! Who saw that truck leave here?"

At the edge of the motor highway back of the laboratories was a muddy
shoulder. Immense doughnutlike tires of a big truck had cut deep into
the soft earth. The tracks were fresh.

"Holy Moses!" growled the yardmaster. "We can't keep track of all the
trucks that go by here!"

"All gone!" wailed Professor Spargrove. "Wait until Doc Savage
discovers this! I'm ruined!"

"Doc Savage?" barked Inspector Higgins. "He knows plenty about it!
We've got to find that guy--and quick, too!"



INSPECTOR HIGGINS was jotting down many notes. What these meant, he
probably did not know himself. The snatching of ten tons of machinery
under the eyes of a railroad yard full of men was adding a little too
much to this assignment.

Now Professor Spargrove seemed to have forgotten about the reputed
missing globes. He had led the way into another long room. This looked
as if it might have been an aquarium.

Long rows of glass tanks were ranged around the sides. Only these
tanks appeared not to have been filled with fish. Scummy green water
showed against the glass. The air was rank with the odor of decaying
vegetation.

Professor Spargrove was walking up and down.

"It couldn't be! It couldn't be!" he kept repeating. "You are sure
John Corbin screamed he was seeing things?"

One of the railroad men affirmed this. Professor Spargrove darted into
a side room. When he came out, he was staring strangely. He seemed
hardly to see the others in the room.

"It's incredible! Incredible!" the professor cried out. "The globes
are gone! Yet I see--I see--It can't be possible!"

"Well! Well! Well!" snapped Inspector Higgins. "An' what do you see?"

"You wouldn't understand," the professor said quietly, "but I see the
same things John Corbin saw. Only I know what they are, and poor John
Corbin did not. Some of them have a hundred heads and some have a
thousand mouths. They are reaching for me with long tentacles."

"Holy mackerel!" grunted a railroad man. "Me! I'm pullin' my freight
right now!"

Inspector Higgins slipped a hand into a side pocket. His Adam's apple
was clearly out of control.

"I guess maybe, professor, you'd better come along with us," he
suggested. "Probably the strain's been too much for you."

But Professor Spargrove leaped and struck at something in the air.
Unfortunately for Inspector Higgins, his bony nose was in the path of
the professor's fist. Scarlet fluid spattered over the inspector's
chin.

"We've got to get them back!" screamed Professor Spargrove. "My life's
work! I tell you not even Doc Savage can rob me of what I've slaved
years to produce!"

"Now we're gettin' somewhere!" growled Inspector Higgins. "I bet that
bronze guy knows all about this! Make a close check-up on all freight
that's been moved! Ten tons of machinery can't walk out of the middle
of a railroad yard without being seen!"



"THAT'S the complete check-up," announced the yardmaster half an hour
later. "Nothing has been moved on this side of the yards to-night. It
would also have been impossible for any one to have transferred ten
tons, or even one ton, of equipment from that building to a truck on
the highway without being seen."

"That puts this whole thing right back on this Doc Savage," declared
Inspector Higgins. "He was here. He saw what had happened, an' then he
beat it away in a blue sedan. It all checks up."

Inside his plant, Professor Spargrove was wandering from room to room.
Inspector Higgins had two county policemen keeping him under
surveillance. They could hear the professor talking to himself.

Occasionally, Professor Spargrove came in and stared at the tanks of
green water. Each time, he resumed his crazed muttering. He did not
seem to observe the policemen. The coppers kept more than a respectful
distance.

Also, the policemen kept a close eye out for anything that might have
a hundred heads and a thousand mouths. They wouldn't have been
surprised to really find long tentacles reaching for them.

Outside, Inspector Higgins still had no trace of the missing
machinery.

He repeated a telephone order to have Doc Savage picked up as soon as
he could be located.



Chapter V. THE RUMBLING TRUCK

COLONEL JOHN RENWICK, famous engineer, was standing his companion's
hair on end. William Harper Littlejohn, noted archaeologist and
geologist, was not a man to have shivers sent easily through his
scalp.

But when it came to driving a big car with a fast motor over a rainy
highway in the night, Colonel Renwick, otherwise known as "Renny,"
seemed to have no sense of either speed or safety.

"Renny," stated Johnny, "an apparently insuperable obstacle looms in
the immediate foreground. Unless you alter your present tangent, it
will be the mournful case of an irresistible force colliding with an
immovable object."

Renny was a giant of a man. His hands on the wheel were ponderous as
small hams. His rugged face was solemn, so solemn he had the
appearance of grieving greatly most of the time.

Johnny, who had once occupied a chair in a leading university, was
addicted to the longest words he could manage.

"Put it in English, Johnny," rumbled big Renny. "Whatcha mean 'my
present tangent?'"

Johnny was a long, bony fellow. His body looked as if it might break
if he bent over suddenly.

"I mean, Renny, if you don't pull over about two inches, we're going
to smack head-on into that house truck coming down the road," said
Johnny quickly. "Well, I'll be superamalgamated!"

The last exclamation was drawn out by the margin of less than an inch
which Renny allowed in squeezing by the huge truck. The truck driver
stuck out his head. Johnny could see him swearing.

A short distance behind the truck came a small coupé. It seemed to be
trailing the truck. The faces of two men showed behind its windshield.

"Holy cow!" grunted Renny, as they swung the next curve.

"It looks like Doc is having plenty of company!"

The engineer skidded his car off the concrete into the muddy shoulder
of the road. Close by loomed the vault-like building of the Spargrove
Laboratories. In response to a special radio summons from Doc Savage,
this pair had arrived at the laboratories.

Dozens of men with lanterns and flashlights were scurrying around the
building. Some were shouting orders.



INSPECTOR HIGGINS was the first to confront Renny and Johnny.

"Huh! Well! Well!" he slapped over his bouncing Adam's apple. "So you
fellows belong with this Doc Savage, an' you was to meet him here?
Well, I want to meet him here or any other place! He's been pulling
enough crooked stuff--"

"Hey, Renny, wait a minute!" said Johnny hastily, grabbing at the
engineer's arm. "Remember, this guy's an inspector! He's talking for
the law!"

"Yeah?" thundered Renny. "An' if he makes one more crack like that, he
won't be talkin'; he'll be eatin' soup through a straw! What does he
mean 'Doc's crooked’?"

Johnny had been in the nick of time to save Inspector Higgins from a
fist that had smashed many tough doors. The inspector hastily
sidestepped.

"Well, anyway," he said, "your Doc Savage ain't here. He's been here,
an' ten tons of machinery went up in thin air. The professor who runs
this joint has gone cuckoo! He's seein' things!"

Johnny's skull-like countenance turned upon the inspector. His eyes
brightened in their bony sockets.

"And what might Professor Spargrove have been seeing?"

They were in the long room filled with tanks of stagnant water. The
air had the odor of dying vegetation.

"Well," said Inspector Higgins, "the professor was lookin' straight at
them glass cases full of weeds an' he kept sayin' he was seein'
somethin' like the maybes. I guess this place drives 'em all nuts.
That's what started this watchman runnin' loco."

Johnny ran a long finger along his sharp nose. He looked at the tanks
of dirty green water.

"Seeing the maybes?" he remarked, in a musing tone.

"Could it have been, inspector, he might have been suffering with
illusionary phobia of the amoeba?"

"Havin' the what of the what?" snapped Inspector Higgins.

"Perhaps the chlorophyll or the vorticelli suddenly assumed hitherto
unknown dimensional relativity and emerged from the jungle of algae to
be observed about us," continued Johnny solemnly. "Did Professor
Spargrove by any chance refer to hydra-headed monsters with tubular
tentacles, inspector?"

Inspector Higgins swallowed his Adam's apple. His eyes popped at
Johnny.

"Either you're tryin' to kid me, or you're nuttier than them others!"
he yelped. "What in thunderation are you talkin' about?"

Johnny rubbed his finger along his nose and smiled.

"Let it pass," he suggested. "I fear it wouldn't make any difference
if I explained. Did Professor Spargrove happen to have anything in his
hands when he mentioned seeing these maybes, as you call 'em?"

"He didn't have nothin' nowhere!" rapped out Inspector Higgins. "He
just stood in the middle of this room an' looked around. He was
yellin' about two big copper globes an' some ten tons of electrical
machinery havin' been grabbed off them concrete foundations. We
checked up, an' that stuff must have been taken out of here before to-
night. It couldn't have been done!"

Johnny was suddenly silent. He walked over and dipped a bony hand into
one of the tanks of green water. Slimy vegetation clung to the hand.

"Big copper globes and generators?" he said, in a musing tone to
himself. "So that's why Doc wanted us out here!"

Professor Spargrove danced into the room. He recognized Renny and
Johnny instantly.

"They're gone!" he yelled. "The copper globes weighed all of three
tons apiece! They were all hooked up, and the generators went with
them! Where's Doc Savage?"

"Holy cow!" grunted Renny. "I guess he has got the maybes, or whatever
it was you were talkin' about!"

"We came here to meet Doc," stated Johnny. "What was the purpose of
the big globes and the generators, professor?"

"I am not at liberty to divulge the nature of this equipment,"
Spargrove stated, with some dignity. "Only Doc Savage can inform you
of that. It was for that purpose, I believe, he summoned you here to-
night. Doc Savage and myself alone know the secret. No other person
could possibly be informed."

"Well! Well! Well!" yapped Inspector Higgins. "All this yammerin' is
gettin' us nowhere! For two cents, I'd lock up all you fellows until
we get our hands on Doc Savage! If he knows what drove that one guy
nuts an' killed him, he ain't safe runnin' around loose!"

"I fear, inspector," said Johnny, "that Doc Savage knows a great many
things that would drive lesser minds nuts, as you call it. Also, I can
assure you he must have some good reason for being absent at this
time.

"Professor Spargrove, I believe you are wrong. Other persons do know
the purpose of the copper globes, if they have disappeared as you
say."

"Thunderation!" rumbled Renny.

His sudden bellow was startling. The giant engineer had a pair of
lungs like blacksmith's bellows. When he was excited, his voice was a
good imitation of a roaring foghorn.

"Now what the--" began Inspector Higgins.

"That big truck we passed, Johnny!" shouted Renny. "There was a little
car trailin' it! Accordin' to the time it was makin', it was rollin' a
heavy load! It was headed upcountry! Come on!"

Renny and Johnny paused only long enough to make sure of the tire
treads in the mud near the laboratories.

Inspector Higgins got several of his men into the police car.
Professor Spargrove still retained enough of his mind to jump into the
seat of his roadster.



LED by the police car, the three motors plunged into the slashing
rain. The wind had taken on extra violence. Solid sheets of water
whipped across the concrete.

This was no night to be driving more than a safe thirty miles an hour.
The police car was doing seventy. Professor Spargrove's roadster
bettered that. At one of the first curves, the professor skidded his
roadster ahead of the police car.

Red lights suddenly appeared in the rain ahead of the three cars. They
were undoubtedly the tail-lights of a truck. Just behind this big,
rumbling vehicle a small car was being driven fast. The top lights of
the truck showed green and red. The vehicle seemed as big as a house.

"Honest guys don't drive a big bus like that on a night like this,"
declared Renny. "That truck's doing all of sixty. It's top-heavy an'
the way it's takin' them curves, somethin's due to bust."

Renny was undoubtedly correct. For the truck and the car following it
had just swung into an S turn. Its lights waved in a manner that
indicated the heavy body of the vehicle was doing a roll that
threatened to turn it over.

The truck's lights were swinging wide on the S turn. Apparently the
driver was giving the big bus all the gas it would take. Also, he must
have been taking the wrong track on the road.

"Well, I'll be superamalgamated!" gulped out Johnny.

"Holy cow! It had to happen!" boomed Renny.

Twin headlight beams flashed around the crooked turn. A car was coming
fast in the opposite direction. Apparently the driver of the truck
lost his head completely.

The top lights of the truck seemed to hover in mid-air. Then they went
up and over. The whooping wind was not loud enough to drown out the
rumbling, roaring crash. Tons of wood and steel were smashing to bits
on the rocks of the hill below the highway.

"There goes the professor's copper globes!" yelled Johnny.

Johnny quit talking. Renny stopped cars much the same way he drove.
Suddenly Johnny bumped his bony forehead against the windshield.

Inspector Higgins's car had narrowly avoided piling on top of
Professor Spargrove's roadster. The professor had stopped by the
simple, if dangerous expedient of skidding off the concrete.

Already Professor Spargrove was out of his car and leaping down the
embankment.

"That other little car never stopped," said Renny.

"That's the great help we get from police sirens," commented Johnny.
"The fellows in that little car probably won't stop this side of
Providence or Boston."

The car that had caused all of the confusion had slid on into the
night. It had been traveling fast. Now it was slowing down. Its driver
was showing an intention of coming back.

Inspector Higgins and the others did not notice this. They were piling
down the hill toward what was left of the big truck. The giant
doughnutlike tires of the truck stuck up in the air. They were still
spinning.

They looked remarkably like the helpless feet of some monster suddenly
turned on his back.



"HEY, you fellas!" yelled Inspector Higgins at his cops. "One guy's
busted all to hell on them rocks, but there's somebody inside! Listen
to him!"

Acute ears were not required to ascertain some one was inside the
splintered body of the big truck. For a human voice was screaming.

"Take 'em off! Take 'em away! They're eatin' me alive! Look! That
one's got a thousand eyes! There's heads everywhere!"

"We seem to have an uncanny faculty for arriving at psychological
moments," observed Johnny.

"Good grief!" growled Renny. "Maybe the truck's on fire inside!"

The truck had not caught fire. One whole side had been broken open on
the rocks. A county copper's flashlight shot a finger of illumination
into the wreckage.

"My life's work--all smashed to bits!" shouted Professor Spargrove.
"I'm a ruined man! Doc Savage'll never forgive me!"

"Well! Well! Well!" snapped Inspector Higgins. "If that's your life's
work, I know you ought to be in the nuthouse. Good grief! It ain't
anythin' but one of them water tanks, an' the glass ain't even
cracked!"

Professor Spargrove ceased shouting. The hairy scientist had
remarkable moments. One moment he seemed crazy. The next, he acted as
if nothing mattered. Now he was staring at what the policeman's
flashlight showed.

"One of the amoeba," he said, in a musing tone. "And they didn't take
the globes in that truck. Say, there's a man! He's--"

The entire load of that huge truck was indeed strange. For it
consisted of that one small, unbreakable glass tank. And one human
passenger. It was this man who had been shouting. He was still
screaming.

Yet, in all the crash, the victim did not seem to have suffered more
than a bumped nose and a blackened eye. This gave his face a queer,
distorted appearance. But the man's voice did not lack in strength.

"See 'em!" he squawked. "Millions of 'em! They're big as houses!"

"The gentleman seems to enjoy a remarkably wide perspective," remarked
Johnny, climbing to the side of Professor Spargrove.

"What do you make of it, professor?" Johnny added.

The professor had no time to reply.

The passenger suddenly caught the edge of the broken side of the
truck. He swung himself out. A policeman grabbed for him and missed.
The man started running among the rocks. Such hair as this man had
left was fuzzy and gray at the edges.

Inspector Higgins let out a shout.

"Get 'im! Don't let 'im hurt himself! Good gosh! That fella's Howard
Van Ronzen, the millionaire! He's been batted on the bean or
somethin'!"

"Van Ronzen," stated Johnny, "lives at Great Neck, Long Island. I
visited once on one of his yachts. He's worth millions."



VAN RONZEN, the millionaire, proved to be an agile man for his age. He
climbed on a rock. His thin hands slapped at invisible objects. His
coat had been removed and his shirt was partly torn off.

"It's got a thousand heads!" screamed Van Ronzen. "Take 'em away! I'll
give you anythin' I've got!"

Inspector Higgins and his men encircled the rock. But Professor
Spargrove was the first to reach the yelling millionaire. The
professor sopped his handkerchief in a pool of water on the rock. When
the coppers reached him, he was bathing Van Ronzen's head.

This application seemed to have a remarkably soothing effect. The
millionaire's eyes were closed. He opened them, but he no longer
yelled. He stared at the men around him as if he had no idea of where
he might be.

Then in a perfectly sane voice, Van Ronzen said, "Did, you see them?
One had a thousand arms. They followed me. What am I doing out here in
the rain?"

Inspector Higgins's Adam's apple had almost rubbed a hole in the skin
of his scrawny neck. He gulped and looked at Van Ronzen.

"I think perhaps he will be all right now," said Professor Spargrove
calmly. "He should be brought to a hospital at once."

"We'll attend to that!" said Inspector Higgins. "Where have you been,
Mr. Van Ronzen? How did you get in that truck?"

"Was I in a truck?" said Van Ronzen dully. "Have I been somewhere?
There were so many of those things trying to wrap their tentacles
around me, I lost track of where I was."

"I believe Mr. Van Ronzen should not be questioned now," advised
Professor Spargrove.

The medical examiner, the pudgy deputy coroner, had been in the police
car. He was as puzzled as the other. But he said, "I agree that now is
no time to ask questions. Get the man to a hospital."

"Well," snapped Inspector Higgins, "now where are all those big copper
balls you was talkin' about, professor?"

Professor Spargrove stroked his mutton-chop whiskers. A cunning look
came into his almost hidden eyes.

"It does not matter greatly at this moment," he said calmly. "The
globes are not in operation. Apparently they were not in this truck.
The dead driver can be of no assistance."

All of this was indeed evident. With the assistance of an army of
piano movers, two three-ton copper globes might possibly have been
transferred from the Spargrove Laboratories to the big truck. That is,
if the vehicle could have hauled these along with the other machinery
Professor Spargrove reported as missing.

Inspector Higgins had made a swift investigation.

"Them license plates on the truck are phonies," he announced. "They
don't belong on that kind of job."



STILL moaning and showing evidence of having been through a terrible
ordeal, Van Ronzen, the millionaire, was carried up to the highway.

In the midst of this, Professor Spargrove lost all of his recent calm
attitude.

"They're on again!" he yelled. He danced up and down. "I am ruined! My
life's work is gone! We've got to find the globes before there is
great disaster which even Doc Savage cannot prevent!"

Johnny was close to the professor. He whipped suddenly upon him. But
the professor was quick. He sprang nimbly up the hill. He showed in
the headlights of a car that had just arrived.

"Howlin' calamities!" squealed a childlike voice. "What's happenin'?
Hey, Renny! Johnny! Is Doc with you?"

Inspector Higgins hopped up the embankment. He peered into the furry,
ugly face of Monk.

"My good gosh!" groaned Inspector Higgins.

In the window of the halted car appeared another face. There was an
angry, chattering voice. Something like a pig squealed.

Inspector Higgins was speechless for a moment. He was looking into the
glittering, bright eyes of Chemistry, Ham's baboon.



Chapter VI. HAM SEES MONSTERS

INSPECTOR HIGGINS was not a fainting man. He had been a county copper
too long to keel over. But he almost did keel over as Chemistry's
hairy face and wicked eyes showed in the glass of the car.

He made a valiant effort. This time he seemed to swallow his Adam's
apple completely.

"You--you're lookin' for this Doc Savage?" he groaned. "An' why did
you expect to find him out here, if you can speak the English
language?"

"Daggonit!" yelped Monk. "I'll push some of the English language down
your skinny throat! I'm lookin' for Doc because he's the only one who
can straighten out all this mess! Renny, you seen him?"

"That's exactly what I thought!" snapped Inspector Higgins. "So is
everybody else lookin' for Doc Savage! It looks like he could explain
a few little things about crazy monsters, an' bumping off people, an'
stealin' copper globes, an'--"

"And don't forget," said a cool, angry voice from the seat of the
halted car, "Doc Savage also might explain a kidnaping!"

"Jane! Jane!" shouted Professor Spargrove. "How did you get here?
Where have you been?"

"All I did," said the young woman with the snapping, black orbs, "was
to make the mistake of looking into Doc Savage's eyes. The next thing,
I was stuck in some thorn bushes on a hill. The car I was supposed to
be killed in was scattered along the railroad tracks. Then this Monk
and Ham come along with their menagerie, and Ham beats it."

Inspector Higgins was writing furiously in his notebook. If he knew
what he was putting down it was a miracle.

The deputy coroner was still a relatively sane man.

"Affairs seem to grow more complicated as we go along," he commented
mildly. "I suppose there are more bodies back by that wrecked car on
the crossing?"

"That's the funny part of it," said Monk. "There were five people in
that car an' it was smashed to pieces. Then Ham went up the hill and
disappeared. This Jane Davidson is the only one of the five we found,
and she don't know if she was in the car to start with."

Inspector Higgins snapped off his pencil violently.

"And you said things were complicated, coroner?" he groaned. "If
you're askin' me, they're all hell west an' crooked! We've got to find
Doc Savage! I'm gettin' to a telephone! All you others hold yourselves
ready to be arrested any minute!"

"They got the globes, Jane," Professor Spargrove was saying to Jane
Davidson. "I don't know what I'll do. Years of work, and they're
gone."

"I'll return to the laboratories with you, professor," announced Jane
Davidson. "I have learned poor John Corbin was killed. He must have
been knocked out before Doc Savage walked in on me. Anyway, I can't
remember anything after that."

Despite repeated efforts, little was brought to light about what had
happened to the millionaire. Van Ronzen stated that he had been riding
along a Long Island country road. A car had suddenly crowded him into
the ditch. Apparently he had been knocked out. When he had recovered,
the whole world had changed.

Johnny, listening to the tale, formed a startling theory concerning
the happenings of the night. But he had no means of verifying it. And
what was more, he wasn't going to repeat it to any one. He didn't want
to be considered crazy, too.

Inspector Higgins didn't believe anything of Van Ronzen's story.
Neither did he believe Professor Spargrove had been seeing things. The
inspector hadn't seen anything, so he had reached but one conclusion:
All were mad.

Inspector Higgins left the scene in disgust and went back to
headquarters. There he tried to make something out of the notes he had
written. They were so badly scribbled they made little sense. After he
got them straightened out, they made less sense.



AFTER Inspector Higgins had left, Monk, Renny and Johnny made repeated
efforts to pick up Doc Savage's radio signal. They then decided that
their quickest way of finding their bronze chief was to return to
headquarters. Apparently nothing more could be done at the scene of
the Spargrove Laboratories.

Doc Savage's headquarters covered the entire eighty-sixth floor of one
of Manhattan's most impressive skyscrapers. Doc's famous laboratory,
his great library of scientific volumes and his other devices, were
housed under a tower of stone and steel.

"Daggonit!" groaned the sleepless Monk. "It ain't no use! If Doc's
anywhere at all, he ought to be gettin' them signals!"

Monk, Renny and Johnny had been taking turns working the remarkable
short-wave radio which was a part of Doc Savage's system. This
specially powered transmitter and receiver could pick up the Doc
Savage code in almost any part of the world.

"Confound it!" rumbled big Renny. "Why don't we do somethin'?"

"About this time," suggested Johnny, "a few thousand county and city
police are looking for Doc. We'll probably get results by staying
where Doc can locate us."

Chemistry, the tailless baboon, wandered restlessly around the
laboratory. Sometimes he whined like a baby.

"Howlin' calamities!" squeaked Monk. "Anyway, I ain't waitin' much
longer! I've been callin' Ham's club an' all over, an' he's not
anywhere! The spooky devils that wrecked that car must've got him, or
he wouldn't have busted that sword cane!"



MONK and the others would not have believed their own eyes if they
could at this moment have been walking through an isolated corner of
Central Park.

Some life stirred in Central Park. It being a sunny morning, a few men
and women of the Park Avenue set cantered along a bridle path. Others
who preferred early morning walks, were strolling along some of the
bypaths.

On some of the more hidden Park benches, a few frowzy individuals
unrolled themselves from newspapers. They blinked and yawned. The park
had been their only lodging house. A park copper walked along.
Occasionally he tapped the soles of a late sleeper.

But the copper did not disturb one man on a bench. This fellow was
apparently of the better class. In fact, he was elegantly clad in the
latest morning stripes affected by Park Avenue. In his buttonhole was
a fresh gardenia.

The man flicked some dust from one knee with a pair of immaculate
gloves. Beside him reposed a neat black cane. One or two persons
hurried by. They glanced enviously at this paragon of the latest in
spring fashions.

For the man thus enjoying the sunshine after a night of driving rain
was none other than Theodore Marley Brooks. If Ham had suffered any
ill results from his strange disappearance, he must have forgotten it.

Truthfully, Ham was having trouble with his memory at this moment.
Those knowing his shrewd brain would have been amazed to know the
lawyer was trying to assemble a few illusive facts.

Here he was all dressed for a morning stroll in the park. Everything
was in perfect order. He had been bathed and shaved. Doubtless he must
have come from his apartment in an exclusive club near Park Avenue.

Yet Ham had not the faintest recollection of where he had passed the
night, or how he had arrived in Central Park.

"Monk and I started out to meet Doc," he murmured to himself. "Yes,
that was it. Then Monk went off the highway. Good gravy! I'll have to
call up and find out about that insect!"

No person was in sight as Ham arose and started along a gravel walk.
But just then a small, unhealthy-looking fellow came across the park.
This man had a sallow complexion. He appeared to be in the final
stages of some serious ailment.

Any two or three thugs who might have tackled the fellow would have
been in for a great shock. For the man was Major Thomas J. Roberts,
otherwise known as "Long Tom."

He was the fifth of Doc Savage's companions.

Long Tom was the electrical wizard of the adventurous outfit. His
appearance was most deceptive. Though small and apparently in poor
health, Long Tom could handle several men larger than himself.

The sartorially perfect Ham instantly identified his colleague in Doc
Savage's group. Jauntily swinging his black cane, Ham started across
the plot of grass.

"Hello, Long Tom!" he called out. "I'm glad you happened along! I seem
to be in somewhat of a mental fog this morning!"



THE pallid-faced electrician halted abruptly. He stared at Ham. For
Long Tom had only a few minutes before been contacted by Renny and the
others. This was why he was hurrying toward downtown Manhattan across
Central Park.

And Long Tom had been informed of Doc's mysterious actions and
disappearance the night before. Also, he had been told of Ham having
vanished at the railroad crossing. Yet here was Ham, looking like a
fashion plate and wholly unconcerned!

Ham was looking directly at Long Tom. Near-by, to one side, was a
small pool in which a few pond lilies grew. Ham suddenly experienced a
queer sensation. Something like an iron band tightened around his
brain.

In the stagnant pool suddenly arose a great turmoil. Water and weeds
were lashed about. It was as if the small pond had been hit by a
cyclone wind.

Ham stood, staring stupidly at this manifestation. Out of the churning
water arose a long, slimy head. It was followed by a score of others.
Then it seemed to Ham there were hundreds of ugly heads with blobby,
bright eyes.

Forked tails lashed through the water. Monstrous creatures came to
life. One with a score of protruding necks seized upon another.
Somehow, all of the necks succeeded in swallowing the other monster,
dividing it into parts.

Onto the grass crawled long, serpent-like bodies. They had forked
tongues. Then some seemed to sprout wings. They were attacking each
other. Wide mouths gaped. Into these disappeared some of the monsters.

Now the air was filled with writhing, terrible bodies. All around Ham
the sun must have disappeared. For he was in the midst of great, pudgy
beasts. These flew without wings. Some came close.

Ham yelled loudly. He struck with his sword cane. He did not have time
to draw the blade. For his whole body was being enveloped by hideous
creatures.

Still the pond was a whirlpool of battle. When Ham's sword cane struck
one of the flying beasts, the creature simply divided into separate
parts. Each part became a new hydra-headed monster.

"Take them away!" shouted Ham. "Kill them, Long Tom!"

Ham imagined he could see Long Tom running toward him. Then scores of
filthy, incredible serpents with many heads surrounded Long Tom. Ham
saw the electrician vanish in the midst of the unbelievable attack.

"Run, Long Tom, run!" Ham screamed. "Look out! You'll be eaten alive!"

But instead of dashing to Long Tom's aid, Ham turned and darted in
another direction. Above him came weird figures of the shape of
scorpions. They were of prehistoric size. Ham could see only they were
about to enclose him with their frightful pincers.

"Run, Long Tom!" he yelled again.

With his natty attire, Ham slammed into the pool of stagnant water. He
whipped about with his sword cane. His escape from the monsters of the
air seemed to have been a mistake.

Ham lay down in the shallow, muddy pool. Park Avenue would have been
greatly shocked. The impeccable Ham was smearing his face and head
with the filthy mud.

"Take them away!" he yelled. "There are more of them coming!"

Ham hurled his sword cane at some monstrous shapes. Then he slapped at
others with his bare hands. His blows seemed to pass through the great
monsters. And each time there were two where one had been before.

Ham slid into the water. He gulped great mouthfuls. He was gasping,
choking.



LONG TOM ran around the pond. This spectacle of the usually calm and
self-possessed lawyer suddenly losing his mind was terrible for the
electrician.

"Keep quiet, Ham!" Long Tom called out. "You'll have all the cops in
Manhattan here! Wait a minute! I'll pull you out! There ain't anything
after you!"

Ham struck at him with both fists and yelled. Long Tom grunted. It
looked as if there was only one remedy for this. He took it. His hard
fist cracked Ham expertly under one ear. Ham quit fighting.

The lawyer rolled over and lay still as Long Tom got him onto the
grass.

Long Tom looked around. He wanted to get Ham away without having to
make explanations. He groaned as a big car skidded and stopped in the
nearest driveway. Then he gasped with relief.

The figure of a big, bronze giant glided from the car. His eyes glowed
like dull copper as he looked at Ham and Long Tom.

"What happened, Long Tom?" the man said quietly. "How did Ham get into
that state?"

"That's what I'd like to know, Doc," replied Long Tom. "I heard he had
disappeared last night. Renny told me you couldn't be found. I was
hurrying downtown when I saw Ham walking along. Then he started
batting things in the air and yelling."

"There's something very mysterious about all this, Long Tom," the
bronze man stated. "I fear we are opposed by a terrible power. Last
night I had some contact with Ham and Monk; then I lost control of the
radio."

Ham was recovering from the blow to his jaw. He was slowly sitting up.
He stared wildly, but he had ceased fighting.

"Doc, you here?" said Ham dazedly. "What became of those things? My
heavens! The whole park was full of them!"

"They must be gone now, Ham," said the bronze man quietly. "Long Tom,
you go at once to headquarters. I will take Ham in the car to his
club. Tell the others I shall join you presently. We have work to do."

Ham, the cool lawyer, never had been so shaken. He walked with the
bronze man to the bulletproof car in the driveway.

"We got a lucky break that no cops came along," said Long Tom. "I'll
tell Renny and the others everything is all right."



LONG TOM watched the big car with its sponge rubber tires disappear.
It went in the direction of Park Avenue. Long Tom hailed a taxicab at
the nearest street. He reached headquarters.

"Holy cow!" thundered Renny. "Ham in Central Park? And him seein'
things? Why can't we get in touch with Doc?"

"Doc said something had happened to the radio," explained Long Tom.
"He said we were to be prepared to fight some great power. It seems he
already has started something. But he wanted Ham taken care of at his
club."

"That's funny," declared Monk. "I never knew Doc to act like he's been
doing since last night. An' if it's somethin' could make Ham see
things, it's plenty bad."

"Wait a minute," called out Renny. "I've got Doc on the radio."

A message was coming through. Undoubtedly it was in Doc's own code.
But he was evidently having some trouble with the transmission. Johnny
figured it out.

"Doc says we are all to go at once to the plant of the Twentieth
Century Alloy Metal Works in the yards across East River," interpreted
Johnny. "Says it is important we waste no time. He thinks there will
be some trouble there very soon."

"The Twentieth Century?" said Long Tom. "Say, that isn't so far from
the Spargrove Laboratories. They've been making some special stuff
this Spargrove was using in some of Doc's experiments, I'll bet the
whole thing's mixed up with what happened last night!"

"Howlin' calamities!" exploded Monk. "Have we got to start that all
over again? I've still got a headache tryin' to figure out what
happened! Anyway, I wish I could see Ham an' find out where he went on
that hill!"

Monk's wish was almost immediately gratified. The door opened slowly.
Ham staggered in. His eyes were red and bloodshot.



Chapter VII. DOC'S STRANGE ATTACK

THEODORE MARLEY BROOKS, legal light and Beau Brummell, never before
had been in such a state. Monk looked at him and scratched his nubbin
of a head. Ham's condition ordinarily would have called forth
insulting comment from the apelike chemist.

But Monk was in no mood to jeer at Ham. Long Tom stared at the lawyer.

Ham's Park Avenue stripes clung to him in soggy rags. Traces of pond
weeds stuck over his ears. Ham stood in the middle of the room.
Suddenly, he jumped to one side and looked all around.

"I guess they're gone," he croaked. "There were millions of them!
Monk, you made a mistake turning that car on its top."

"Holy cow!" grunted Renny. "Long Tom said Doc took you to your club!
Why did you leave him?"

"Doc?" said Ham slowly. "Yes, that's right. Doc and I went for a ride
in Central Park. That was after Monk upset the car. Then Monk ran off
with that black-haired dame."

Johnny was preparing a hypodermic. Ham made no objection to having it
thrust into one arm. The needle contained a sedative which Doc Savage
had devised for control of the most serious mental ailments.

The bronze adventurer was noted as a great surgeon. This was only one
of the many accomplishments he had gained by a lifetime of the most
rigid training and exercises.

Ham's nerves became more quiet. He glanced in a mirror.

"I'm in a devil of a mess," he said quietly. "I'll bet I've been
talking wild. But if you had seen the things I did, you'd all be ready
for the bughouse."

"Howlin' calamities, shyster!" squeaked Monk. "You still believe you
saw somethin'?"

"I saw a lot of things that were uglier than you, insect!" was Ham's
sarcastic reply. "Then Doc came along and took me in his car. Say!
Something must have happened to Doc! The next thing I knew, I was
walking along a street down on the East Side. I had one devil of a
time convincing a cop who I was, and then he didn't seem sure."

"Brothers, perhaps all of this has been mere hallucination," stated
Johnny. "But we've had a radio call to go to that Twentieth Century
plant. It came in our code. It was Doc's voice. I don't know what this
is all about, but I'm sure Doc needs us."



ALL agreed that Doc Savage would not have summoned them unless there
was urgent need for their presence. Ham continued to be jumpy, but he
prepared with the others for a fast ride to the railroad yards across
the East River.

At this moment a strident, whining noise came from one wall. Into what
appeared to be a black square of glass jumped two figures. This glass
was merely the electrical arrangement whereby callers at Doc's
headquarters could be inspected from the inside.

"I was afraid that piece of bad news would be coming along," grunted
Johnny. "That means, anyway, the police haven't picked up Doc. And
Inspector Higgins has got your black-haired friend with him, Monk."

The ugly chemist let out a growl.

"That Jane Davidson ain't any friend of mine, an' she ain't to be
trusted," declared Monk. "Now what do you suppose they want?"

Inspector Higgins followed his Adam's apple into the outer reception
room. The snappy-eyed Jane Davidson accompanied him.

"Well! Well! Well!" rapped Inspector Higgins. "Now don't any of you
fellows make any resistance! I've got this place surrounded! I'm
havin' a look for this Doc Savage!"

Doc's five companions grinned slightly. All the police of two of the
world's most thickly populated counties could have surrounded that
downtown Manhattan skyscraper, and the occupants of the eighty-sixth
floor could still have walked right out.

Doc Savage had been one of the designers of this immense pile of stone
and steel. His headquarters had many exits which the most searching
scrutiny would not have revealed.

"I presume you came armed with a search warrant?" suggested Ham, who
was now nearly recovered.

"Warrant?" yelled Inspector Higgins. "I'm the duly constituted
authority! This young lady with me was abducted last night, and an
attempt was made to murder her!!"

"From what I've heard of the young lady," rapped Ham, "it's too bad it
was only an attempt!"

Ham did not mean this literally. His nerves were still raw. The
absence of Doc Savage had all five of his companions in an extremely
touchy mood.

"Let him go ahead and search the place," suggested Long Tom. "We've
got to get out to that Twentieth Century plant."

"You're going where?" snapped Inspector Higgins. "You'll wait until I
can accompany you! There is no doubt but that Doc Savage has been
breakin' the law! I've just come from Howard Van Ronzen!"

"Yes!" snapped Jane Davidson. "And Mr. Van Ronzen now remembers how he
was seized on the road! He says he never met Doc Savage, but he
described him perfectly! It was a big bronze man who ran his car into
the ditch and then hit him over the head!"

"Let Inspector Higgins have a look around," suggested Johnny. "We're
as anxious as you are to find Doc, inspector."

Doc's five companions were seething with rage. They did not believe
any of the reports being made about Doc Savage. But they were greatly
perturbed.

They completed their preparations for departure as Inspector Higgins
went through the big library and the laboratory. This duly constituted
authority emerged from the laboratory with somewhat of a blank look in
his blue eyes.

"Good gosh!" he exploded. "With all them infernal machines this Doc
Savage has got in there to torture people, he should have been put in
jail a long time ago! I never saw such contraptions! But from now on
he ain't goin' to do no experimentin' on good an' law-abidin'
citizens!"

In the outside room, Jane Davidson repeated emphatically that it was
Doc Savage who had hypnotized her before she was taken for a midnight
ride.

Doc's five companions were becoming excessively irritated with this
positive young woman.

"You come with us out to the Twentieth Century Metal Alloy Works,"
advised Johnny. "If Doc is there, it won't take long to prove both you
and this skinny-necked cop are goofy."

"You can wager your sweet life I'm going with you!" blazed Jane
Davidson.

A few minutes later three automobiles flashed along the East River
streets northward to the bridge crossing into the Bronx district. One
carried Inspector Higgins and some of his men. In another car Monk and
Ham had taken Jane Davidson as a passenger.



AS the three laden cars sped through the Bronx on the Boston Post
Road, one section of railroad yards not so far from this main highway
up the coast was busy. It was close to noon.

With a slamming of bumpers, a coughing of stacks and the whine of
electric engines, the morning cars were being spotted. Two freight
trains were being made up. The yardmaster was busy hopping around.

The Twentieth Century Alloy Metal Works did a mixed business, as its
name indicated. Its furnaces made a specialty of metallic alloys
designed for unusual services. Most of its shipments were of great
value and had to be handled carefully.

Steel box cars stood at two long loading platforms. Along these
loading platforms moved two-score laborers. They wheeled heavy boxes
on trucks.

The fussy, little man jumping around was the kind who would be
expected to hold the same job with the same company for a great many
years. He took his job seriously. His men imagined he had eyes in the
back of his head.

His name was Evans. He was the general manager of the Twentieth
Century. Just now, he was watching the spotting of an express car
close to the main office on an inner loading platform. This indicated
some shipment of unusual value was due to be loaded.

Manager Evans was also watching several men loading a box car. He
squinted at these men and walked over to a white-collared foreman.

"You gotta bunch of new men again, Bill!" rasped Manager Evans. "Seems
like we're changin' hands all the time lately! I don't like it! I want
all new men to report to me!"

The foreman rubbed a sweaty forehead.

"Got six boxes to be made up for the mixed local at noon, an' you know
how the loaders are," he replied. "Half of 'em didn't show up this
morning, an' I had to pick up what I could get."

"Well, I don't like it!" insisted Manager Evans. "I want to know the
record of all men workin' for the Twentieth Century!"

"That'd get a lot of cars loaded," muttered the foreman as Manager
Evans hopped back toward the offices.

A serious, owl-eyed young man came from the inside office.

"You got all that stuff in the big box?" demanded Manager Evans.
"We're supposed to deliver half a ton of it to-day, an' the express
car's been spotted."

"Yes, sir," said the serious young man. "All them conduits have been
put in the safe. We made the thermit test yesterday. Only one batch
went soft. The rest of it took five thousand degrees."

"Great stuff, that thermit tester," declared Manager Evans. "If those
conduits went through it, they'll stand anythin' Doc Savage will ever
use."

"I hope so," commented the serious young man. "But from what I've
heard of Doc Savage, he's likely to have something that might shove
the temperature to ten thousand degrees."

"That'll never be done," stated Manager Evans. "Thermit's the only
thing that's ever been found that'll melt down the hardest metals. The
fellow who thought of mixin' aluminum an' iron oxide an' then shootin'
electrical currents through it made himself a fortune."

"Guess he did," assented the young man. "That reminds me, Mr. Evans.
We've got a batch of that mixture thermit in one of the big vaults
outside. We ought to move it. A short circuit in there might play the
devil."

"I'll look after that end!" said Manager Evans snappishly. "You see
that those conduits are ready for loadin'. But don't unlock the big
safe until the guards are on hand."

His words indicated the new alloy conduits designed for Doc Savage
were immensely valuable. They were. They rated higher per ounce than
gold, even at its advanced prices.

At this moment, a breathless office boy hurried onto the loading
platform. The boy looked as if he had just seen a ghost.

"D-Doc S-Savage himself's in your office, Mr. Evans!" stammered the
boy. "H-he says he wants you right away!"



MANAGER EVANS'S office was not brightly illuminated. A man was
standing by the windows. His great hulk seemed to fill all of the
lighted space. The man's hands were fumbling with a metallic object he
had picked up from the desk.

"Sorry, Mr. Savage, to keep you waitin'," exclaimed Manager Evans. "I
was just out preparing to load those conduits to be shipped to the
Spargrove Laboratories. Mornin' paper said there was some trouble over
there last night. A watchman killed an' one of the railroad men. Hope
it won't hold up your experiment?"

The bronze skin of the big man glowed in the faint light from the
window. His bronze hands showed their tremendous reserve strength as
they toyed with the metallic object.

"Nothing will interfere with the experiment," stated the bronze man.
"I'm glad to hear you have the conduits ready. They stood the thermit
tests all right?"

"Five thousand degrees," stated Manager Evans. "Not many persons could
afford to pay the price for that kind of alloy. It's the greatest
thing our chemists ever have produced."

"That's fine," said the man with the bronze skin. "Let me have the
keys to the big safe, and I'll look the stuff over before it's
loaded."

"Why--why, well, I'll unlock the safe for you," said Manager Evans. "I
make it a rule never to let these keys out of my hands. I hope you
won't feel offended. You see I--"

Manager Evans had turned toward the door of the office. The bronze man
must have moved with the speed of a cat. Manager Evans heard nothing.

"A-a-agh!" he gulped. "You can't do that--"

Manager Evans's windpipe suddenly collapsed. The great nerve centers
at the base of his skull became paralyzed. The fussy little man batted
the air with his hands. His movements became feeble.

It was very strange. Manager Evans remained wholly conscious. He could
still see and hear. The big bronze man extracted a bunch of keys from
one pocket. One of these was of peculiar design.

The strong safe of the Twentieth Century plant operated on an
electroscopic principle of its own. This had been invented by Manager
Evans himself. It required a key which made an electrical contact.

Now Manager Evans lay on the floor. Only his finger tips wiggled
faintly. When he tried to cry out, he had no voice. The big bronze man
passed into the outer offices.



CLERKS in the outer offices saw the big bronze man whip into the main
room. He stood for a moment looking around. He was looking out at the
loading platforms.

"Everything is ready, Bill," said the bronze man, without raising his
voice. He turned on the perplexed clerks. "Every one will get out at
once."

The serious young man who had talked with Manager Evans was the only
person to protest against the strange order.

"But--but--Mr. Evans said nobody was to--"

The big bronze fellow apparently made little movement. His eyes glowed
like flaky copper. One hand snapped out with unbelievable speed. The
serious young man left the office through one of the windows.

This exit carried the sash and the panes of glass with it. The other
clerks rushed outside.

In the meantime, some of the new men on the loading platform had
suddenly dropped their truck handles. Fists started smacking. Older
employees were on the wrong end of those blows. A dozen of the regular
men were herded and hurled into an open box car.

The door slammed shut and the iron hasp was fastened.

Knuckles pounded at the inside of the car. Men's voices shouted. But
the new men of the loading crew had other business.

The foreman called "Bill," seemed to be directing this effort.

Men with rubber gloves dragged two electrical wire leads toward the
end of the Twentieth Century plant. Here was a vault with a door
something like that of a refrigerating plant.

Two men carried the wire leads through this door. They came out
hurriedly. Bill shouted an order. Another man pushed a switch.

Under the door of the big vault appeared a flickering, blue flame. The
electrical leads were alive. They were pouring a current of high
frequency into the closed vault.

"Everybody out!" yelled Bill. "That thermit's worse than dynamite!
It'll melt everything in sight!"

The thick-walled, insulated vault seemed to dissolve. In its place
appeared a terrible blue flame. This flame seemed to have no tongues
or smoke. It was like an expanding sponge of the fiercest heat.

The plant's stock of thermit was pouring out five thousand degrees of
heat. Platforms began to disintegrate.



Chapter VIII. THE VANISHED SAFE

THE small tank of terrible thermit did not cause an explosion.
Switcher crews in the railroad yard began yelling. The yard siren
squawled.

One of the yard fire engines got streams playing on the fire.
Fortunately, the thermit burned itself out quickly. Only one end of
the big plant was destroyed.

In the meantime, the yardmaster had ordered a rapid shifting of car
strings on the sidings. A dozen electric engines ran cars to a safe
distance from the plant, should the fire spread.

On the near-by Boston Post Road, many motor cars were halted. Drivers
poured out to witness the fire. Arriving county cops and patrolmen
quickly got most of these moving. But traffic was jammed for perhaps
twenty minutes.

During this time, the driver of a big moving van appeared to be
blocked. He was forced to run his immense truck onto the flat shoulder
of the road close to the burning plant. He climbed out and ran around
swearing at other drivers.

It might have been noticed that a small automobile with its shades
drawn had also stopped near the truck. Workmen from the burning plant
were now carrying out some of the portable objects of greatest value.

The workmen apparently made some mistake. They seemed to be loading
some of the rescued boxes into the stalled moving van.

After an interval of swearing with his voice and his hands, the truck
driver climbed back into his seat. The big van found a way through the
traffic, heading toward the Bronx.

The smaller closed car also vanished at about the same time.

The fire was now being rapidly brought under control. The thermit had
burned out.



ABOUT this time, Manager Evans must have regained his physical
faculties. His face was blackened with smoke, but his voice seemed
unimpaired. The firemen and railroad men had believed every one had
left the plant.

Manager Evans leaped into the edge of the crowd on the Boston Post
Road.

"Stop him!" he was yelling. "We've been robbed! They took it away! Doc
Savage got it! They took our conduits! An' they grabbed a five-ton
safe!"

"The heat's got 'im," commented the nearest policeman. "Nobody moved
any five-ton safe or any other safe. Come on, we'll have a look."

Manager Evans led the way into the scorched main office. The policemen
gaped at what he pointed out. Without doubt, a tremendous safe had
recently stood at one side of the big office.

Gouged marks showed where it had started to move. Beyond that point
the floorboards had been badly scorched.

"You say it was a safe an' it weighed five tons?" questioned a copper.

"Yes, yes, yes!" yelled Manager Evans. "The new metal alloy in it was
worth maybe a million! Before the fire I got myself knocked down! He
took my keys!"

"Well! Well! Well!" rasped a nasal voice. "Who took what keys? What's
worth a million, an' how'd you get yourself knocked down?"

County Police Inspector Higgins had pushed his acrobatic Adam's apple
into the picture. Close beside him was a round-faced, plump and pretty
young woman.

Four others of Doc Savage's companions were at Inspector Higgins's
elbow. Big Renny had halted outside. The three cars from Manhattan had
arrived just as the fire had been brought under control.

Renny had an engineer's eye. He had been attracted by the clever
methods of the yard crews in shunting strings of cars out of danger.
Renny was absorbing a mental picture of the yards of the Twentieth
Century plant.

Ham was with the others. His eyes still had a vacant expression.

"Howlin' calamities!" yelled Monk. "We're lookin' for Doc Savage!
Who's seen him? Was he here before this fire started?"

"I'll bet he was here," stated the cold voice of Jane Davidson. "There
aren't many places he hasn't been."

"That's right!" shouted Manager Evans, pulling at his scorched hair.
"Doc Savage was right here! It was him who knocked me out an' took my
keys! That was just before they grabbed this five-ton safe!"

Inspector Higgins swallowed his Adam's apple. He waited until he had
it in action again.

"An' that cinches this Doc Savage!" he rasped. "You saw him, an' he
knocked you down? Then he took your keys an' stole your safe?"

"That--well, that's what I think happened," said Manager Evans.

"Then," interrupted Long Tom, "all you have to do, Inspector Higgins,
is find a big bronze fellow walking around with a five-ton safe under
his arm."

"Don't try to be funny!" snapped Inspector Higgins. "Disappearin'
copper balls an' machinery, crazy men seein' things where they ain't,
an' now this Doc Savage walks right through a crowd with five tons of
safe!"

"It seems to me you're being funny without trying," suddenly commented
Johnny. "Mr. Evans, how would they have got that safe out of here?"

"I believe--I think--I'll bet I know!" gulped a serious young man. He
was the clerk who had been ejected through the window.

"Well! Well! Well!" exploded Inspector Higgins. "You believe, you
think, you bet--Make up your mind!"

"Yes, sir--no, sir," gulped the confused young man. "But about five
minutes ago there was a big moving van loaded with something out of
the plant while it was on fire--an' it went down the Boston Post Road
toward Manhattan--there were boxes and--"

"Good gravy!" snapped Ham suddenly, coming out of his apparent coma.
"Wouldn't you know if there was a safe?"

"Yup--of course! Sure, there was a safe!"

"Great Scott!" yelled Inspector Higgins. "An' we're standin' here! I'm
gettin' Doc Savage this time!"



MONK drove one car. Renny was at the wheel of another. Inspector
Higgins himself had the police car.

Though traffic on the Boston Post Road pulled off at the wail of the
police siren, it seemed an even bet which driver would be the first to
hit the ditch.

The determined Jane Davidson rode with Monk. Perhaps the ugly chemist
made the going a little tougher on this young woman's account. She had
persisted in accusing Doc Savage.

"Daggonit!" yelped Monk, who was leading the other cars. "That must be
the truck!"

The lumbering vehicle was making all the speed of which it was
capable. But the four-track Boston Post Road did not seem wide enough.
Many drivers were being crowded into the ditch.

The driver of the truck was leaving several minor smashups in his
wake. And close behind the truck was a smaller car. This was a sedan.
The back window was obscured by a curtain.

"Move over!" shouted Inspector Higgins. "There ain't goin' to be no
more foolishness!"

The police car shot ahead. From its windshield protruded a mean-
looking snout. This suddenly took on a rosy blossom of fire.

"Good gravy!" exclaimed Ham. "That crazy cop'll knock some other car
off the road! This isn't any place to turn on the fireworks!"

Inspector Higgins must have been mad. A stream of jacketed bullets
skipped straight up the concrete. This climbed to the gas tank of the
sedan following the truck. The sedan skidded and slewed to one side.

"That got 'em!" yapped Inspector Higgins. "Blow them tires on the
truck!"

The police machine gunner knew his stuff. A knifelike line of slugs
rippled off the concrete. This sliced through first one and then the
other of the huge, double doughnutlike tires under the moving van.

"That bus'll wreck somebody before it goes over!" asserted Long Tom.
"Look! There she goes!"

The big moving van was going over. It partly toppled. The sliced tires
swung the rear end over toward the ditch.

"Howlin' calamities!" squealed Monk. "Look at that other fool driver!"

The remark was justified. The sedan with the leaking gas tank had
swung up alongside the big truck. It seemed as if it would be crushed
under the van at any second.

Then two figures leaped from the driving seat of the truck. They
caught the sides of the closed sedan.

The driver must have swung the truck's wheel desperately at the last
instant. The moving van jumped like a house with dynamite suddenly
applied to its foundation. As it turned over, its huge body completely
blocked the four tracks of the road.

Inspector Higgins jumped up and down like a madman. His car had to be
driven high on the bank before it could pass the truck. Monk and Renny
followed.

"We'll get those fellows," said Long Tom. "Look at the road."



IT was apparent the fleeing sedan was losing gas rapidly. The wet line
showed where it was pouring out. But the wrecking of the truck had
given it nearly a mile lead. It had disappeared around a sharp curve.

Inspector Higgins and the others braked to a stop. Two men were
jumping up and down in the middle of the highway. Near them the closed
sedan was burning. It had been shoved into the ditch.

"Well! Well! Well!" barked Inspector Higgins. "Get them out of that
fire! Them fellows are under arrest!"

One of the men jumping up and down in the road had a black eye. The
other man's nose was bleeding.

"Get 'em out?" yelled one of these men. "Hell! They ain't in there!
They just knocked us down, grabbed our car an' beat it! They set that
sedan on fire with a cigarette lighter!"

Inspector Higgins's Adam's apple threatened to sock him on the chin.

"Stole your car?" he yelled. "What'd they look like? What make of
car?"

"Well," said one man, "it was a Caddy, an' faster'n what you've got!
It's insured, anyway. There were five guys in that sedan. One of them
that hit me was a big guy with a brown face like an Indian."

"Now that couldn't possibly have been Doc Savage?" murmured Jane
Davidson, with a malicious note in her voice.

Apparently the other car had too great a start. There were too many
side roads. Ten minutes later, Inspector Higgins had a report from up
the road that the stolen car had been jammed into a wall near the
railroad and abandoned.

"So, the young man saw a five-ton safe loaded into this truck?"
observed Renny. "Maybe they tossed it over to that sedan when the men
on the van made their get-away."

Inspector Higgins was speechless. This wrecked truck carried a few
boxes. All were small. They were minor parts of machinery from the
burned Twentieth Century plant. There was no evidence of a five-ton
safe or any other heavy article having been carried.



BACK at the Twentieth Century plant, Manager Evans was in a state of
collapse. No evidence had been uncovered to show how the big safe and
the million-dollar conduits had been removed. One man had lost his
life in the fire.

The foreman known as Bill was missing. It was feared that he had been
trapped near the burned thermit vault. But Bill had not been trapped
in the vault.

Doc Savage's men were looking around the place. Inspector Higgins
wasn't with them. He was on the telephone wire, giving orders that the
man of bronze should be picked up. He was adding, dead or alive.

Doc Savage's men were as anxious as Inspector Higgins to have Doc
Savage found. Never before had Doc called them to places of danger
without excellent reason.

Renny was the first one to notice something wrong. He had whipped out
into the railroad yard and was inspecting the lines of cars saved from
the fire. Once before, he had impressed every detail of the switching
yard on his brain.

"That's funny," he muttered. "I wonder why they moved that stuff out?"

Two minutes later, Renny was talking to a yardmaster.

"What became of that old carnival car that was on the graveyard
track?" demanded the engineer.

"By golly!" said the yardmaster. "It's gone, ain't it? Maybe one of
the switch engines moved it out of the way of the fire."

A search followed, minute in detail. But the car was not found.

The carnival car had disappeared.



Chapter IX. TWO DOC SAVAGES

THERE was but one light in the dungeonlike room. This was a dust-
covered electric bulb set in the high stone ceiling.

But there were countless other little lights. Terrible little lights.
Because they were not white like the dim globe above. They were tiny,
and green, and deadly.

These little lights moved constantly. This was accompanied by a shrill
squealing. There were gnawing sounds like small knives being sharpened
on stones.

The many green lights were but reflections. They were the eyes of
scores of great rats. Starving rats, shut off from all food for many
days.

Now they scurried back and forth in the shadows at the edges of the
room. Their hunger was not great enough to bring them to attack the
only other living figure in the cellar dungeon.

For many hours there had been only one other living figure. He was a
big man. From before the time John Corbin had run screaming to his
death from the Spargrove Laboratories, this figure had been bound to
the oozy, filthy wall of stone.

The prisoner had been there at the time Jane Davidson had stated she
had looked into the eyes of Doc Savage. The green-eyed rats had crept
closer and closer. Only that light in the ceiling kept them from
attacking this human enemy.

The rats only waited for the prisoner to fall asleep. Or for that
little light in the ceiling to wink out.

But the bound prisoner had still been awake when Ham was seeing
monsters in Central Park. He was still watching the scurrying rats
when a five-ton safe was removed from the Twentieth Century plant.

For the prisoner was Doc Savage, the great bronze adventurer.

The manner of binding Doc Savage had been simple. Too simple to be
easily disengaged. The bronze giant had been known to free himself
from the most complicated of modern manacles. But few sets of
handcuffs would have held him.

Doc Savage was helpless now under the most primitive of winding cords.
Strips of rawhide, only partly dried, had been employed. These
enwrapped all of his tremendous body. They were interknotted around
the massive arms from wrists to shoulders.

The legs were encased as securely as the wrappings of a mummy.

Doc Savage had been tricked to this underground cellar on the East
Side. The ruse had also been simple.

For Doc Savage had seen himself. The other man had appeared only a few
times in the street crowds. But each time, the bronze giant became
aware his own appearance had been duplicated.

The other man's size, his bronze skin, the smooth mask of his bare
head and his movements were faithful copies of Doc Savage.

Another note added to this. It was the strange trilling which suddenly
swept over the crowd, then was as quickly terminated.

Scores of persons had been halted by that unexpected eerie note. It
was gone so quickly they had not located its origin. But Doc Savage
had marked it.

That trilling was Doc's own distinctive brand of sound. Usually it was
uttered when in the face of danger or when concentrating upon some
deep problem. His own men knew the trilling as a part of Doc.

Now Doc heard it emanate from his double. Undoubtedly the man desired
that Doc Savage hear it.

Doc Savage knew the fellow had a purpose in all that show. He had
wanted to be observed and followed. Doc had immediately taken up his
trail.

Perhaps Doc Savage should not have so accommodated the other man's
wishes. For his double had almost disappeared when Doc himself found
himself surrounded.

Doc Savage's defensive devices were numerous. The big bronze man never
carried a lethal weapon, such as a pistol. He believed men came to
rely too much upon such weapons. This lessened the use of their wits.

True, Doc was armed with small grenades, tiny capsules and a few other
devices which would render an enemy unconscious. But Doc had no desire
to kill. Many of his enemies had been overcome. Then they had
disappeared.

These men never were heard from again in their true identity. At an
institution far in northern New York, many criminal minds were
treated. When they emerged they were new persons. The twist of
crookedness had been removed from their brains.

Now that Doc's double had appeared and vanished, the bronze man was
surrounded by a throng of men. They were closing in from all sides.
Doc was fully aware it was their purpose to capture him. The bronze
man deliberately refrained from fighting.



DOC SAVAGE had been rendered unconscious by something like one of his
own chemicals. Here was proof that a most dangerous enemy had appeared
for some mysterious purpose.

Doc's awakening was in the cellar with the scores of huge rats.

His immediate belief was that his strange enemy wished to terrify him
for some purpose. The filthy, black rodents scuttled and squealed
close to his feet.

A few times the small light in the ceiling went out. When this
happened, there was a rush of, many small bodies. Then the rats
permitted their hunger to overcome their fear of a human presence.

But this torture wasn't quickly over with. Rather, it was prolonged.
Each time the ceiling light went out, it remained dark for a few
seconds. When it flashed on again, the squealing rats retreated. This
torture of the prisoner had continued for hours.

Doc Savage possessed a brain as accurate as a clock. He was conscious
of having been in the dungeon for nearly twenty-four hours. And in
that time the bronze man had tried to connect up his imprisonment with
some outside purpose.

What could be the reason which would make it worth while for another
man to appear as Doc Savage?

The whole situation was baffling. It was even more so because of the
thoroughness with which the bronze man had been disarmed. Even his
bullet-proof skullcap with its bronze hair had been removed.

Again the little light winked out. Almost immediately the rats were
scuttling across the floor. Sharp teeth cut through the cords into one
of the bronze man's arms.

The light came on again. And now a big man stood in the middle of the
cellar. Doc Savage had heard the grating of a stone door by which the
man had entered.

The man who stood there was of splendid proportions. He weighed
perhaps two hundred and fifty pounds. His white shirt was stripped
back from his forearms. Muscles stood out like small cables.

But the most amazing thing was the man's skin. It was bronze, a
perfect replica of Doc Savage's own skin. Any one in a thousand
persons would have mistaken him for Doc Savage.

Doc Savage waited. Little whirlpools stirred briefly in his gold eyes.
He could see the eyes of the other man. They, too, appeared to be of
bright copper. The light made whirlwinds show in the middle.

Doc Savage's first words were a quiet comment on the other man's
appearance.



"IT is very difficult to obtain glass shells of that color," stated
Doc. "It is a metallic shade, which makes it possible to reproduce it
in glass. The rest of your set-up looks like the real thing. Perhaps
you will inform me why all this masquerade?"

The other big man laughed. Plainly he was proud of his success in
becoming a replica of Doc Savage himself.

"You see," he stated, in a voice as quiet as Doc's own. "I never have
had the opportunity to study your eyes at close range. Photographs are
not much good. You know, of course, that no person can detect the
exact color of another person's eyes at a distance of more than
fifteen feet. I shall remedy that error."

Doc Savage did not have to be informed that here was the most
dangerous type of enemy. Sure of himself. Cool as a cucumber.
Remarkable in his make-up ability.

The big man came closer. His stride had that easy, catlike movement
which marked Doc Savage. He did not have to bend down to peer closely
into the eyes of his bound prisoner.

"I see what you mean, Doc Savage," he stated calmly. "The irises of the
fake shells I am wearing do not give the proper whirling effect in the
light. I shall have that remedied. Also, it might gratify you to know
that my eyes will not hypnotize as yours have been known to do. That's
tough through glass."

Doc Savage smiled slightly.

"After you have all the make-up perfect, you could hardly expect to
fool my own men when they are near you," he stated.

The fake bronze man laughed confidently.

"On the contrary," he stated. "I have already completely fooled two of
your smartest men. I met Long Tom and Theodore Marley Brooks, or Ham,
in Central Park not many hours ago. Long Tom followed my instructions,
and Ham willingly accompanied me in an automobile."

"But you have not attempted speaking with them--over the radio, for
example," suggested Doc.

The big man laughed.

"For many weeks I have had a short-wave set cut in on your own
sender," he advised. "I have learned the sending code, also your
system of voice scrambling. Not less than a few hours ago all your men
replied to a call to the Twentieth Century Metal Alloy Works above the
Bronx."

Doc Savage's calm countenance did not change expression.

"Then this whole game is for the purpose of stealing some of our most
valuable alloys?"

"Much more than that, oh, much more," smiled Doc's double. "When we
have finished, some terrible things may have happened. Whole cities
will discover we control their water supplies. Ah, no, Doc Savage! We
shall not appear in the role of extortionists or blackmailers."

"The Twentieth Century alloys?" said Doc, in a musing tone. "It
couldn't be possible that connects up with the Spargrove
Laboratories?"

"You are a very erudite man, Doc Savage," stated his bronze double.
"Unfortunately John Corbin, the watchman at the Spargrove
Laboratories, must have been drinking some very bad liquor last night.
He was killed in the yards while trying to escape the D. T.'s."

For a minute or two Doc Savage didn't say anything. His face was a
blank mask.

Few men could discover when anger came uppermost in Doc Savage. His
calm control was always perfect. Yet now he was seething inside. Doc's
double's statement that he and his cohorts could control whole water
supplies told the bronze man more than other persons could have
guessed.

"Becoming Doc Savage would hardly further your scheme, whoever you
are," stated the man of bronze. "It is true you may possibly discover
the means of killing millions. You could lay barren millions of acres
of this and other countries."

"Also," smiled Doc's double, "we can restore what has been destroyed.
And could not the great work of Doc Savage be carried forward? Perhaps
you now can see what we are attempting."

"I would be very dumb indeed, if I did not," advised Doc. "But
certainly you cannot hope to keep me under cover forever? My men will
not be fooled for long."

"Ah," Doc's double said, rubbing his big bronze hands together, "you
have come upon the main thought. We would not try to keep you under
cover forever. Nor will your able companions be free to upset any of
our plans. In fact, the great Doc Savage is staging his last stand!"



DOC SAVAGE could read death in the other bronze man's voice. But he
could tell that the other man was not yet finished with taunting him.

"Perhaps," said Doc's double, "you do not believe everything is in
order to carry out what I have outlined. You have observed my
gestures?"

"They are almost perfect," admitted Doc. "I could only suggest that
the trilling note you uttered on the street would not mislead any of
my men very far. That in itself is something over which I myself have
no control."

"Your men need not understand for long," said Doc's double. "As soon
as we have pretty generally discredited the great Doc Savage with his
friends and the police, it is probable your men will cease to be a
factor in our plans."

Doc Savage spoke quietly.

"You may have discovered part, but you could not have all that which
you are boasting."

Doc's double laughed. One bronze hand flicked back the mask of his
hair. It was a movement much like Doc himself night have made.

Doc's double stepped close. His hands flashed across Doc's eyes.

"Now you see nothing?" mocked Doc's double.

"True enough," stated Doc. "Now I see nothing."

The bronze man's voice was without expression.

Doc's double slopped his feet through the ooze of the cellar. He
crossed to the opposite wall. A small, circular disk hung there. Doc's
double said, "All ready, Anstratton?"

There was a brief delay. Then Doc's double said, "Let the great globes
turn!"

For a few seconds the fake bronze man watched Doc Savage. The real man
of bronze did not change expression. He seemed to be looking into the
corners into which the countless rats had scurried, waiting for their
human prey.

Suddenly Doc's double laughed loudly. For the moment, he seemed to
forego that calmer role of the Doc Savage.

"Now you can see them!" he squawked. "They are beautiful creatures!
What a boon to civilization the invention would have been! Perhaps
after we have collected plenty, I will see that it is applied as you
intended! But you and your companions will know nothing of the
results! Probably I will decide to become hailed as the world's
greatest benefactor! Disease and death will be conquered! You do see
them, don't you?"



UNLIKE John Corbin, the watchman who dashed to his death, or Ham, the
lawyer, Doc Savage did not appear greatly disturbed by what he might
have been seeing.

Any one looking through the bronze man's eyes at the moment would have
missed seeing the eyes of the furtive rats. For the floor of the
cellar had suddenly become filled with the most incredible vermin.

Some of these creatures were the size of men. Hideous, hydra-headed
monsters crawled around Doc Savage's feet.

Around his bound arms and legs were gigantic coiling serpents. Great
pudgy beasts floated before the bronze man's face. The single light in
the ceiling had temporarily disappeared.

In its place were big, violent animals. They were of more terrible
proportions than those of the prehistoric age.

It must have seemed remarkable that the scores of giant rats were not
terrified. But all that seemed to hold these ravening rodents in check
was the electric bulb.

Doc Savage could not now see his bronze man double. But he spoke
clearly, quietly.

"I fear you have made one vital mistake," he advised. "Temporarily, no
doubt, you have possession of Professor Lanidus Spargrove's
laboratories. But there must soon be metal replacements you cannot
make. Ponderous machinery has to be moved."

Doc's double laughed scornfully.

"You think we would be such fools as not to know all that before we
started?" he mocked "We have taken enough of the new alloy from the
Twentieth Century plant to keep all this in operation for ten years."

"But how could you remove tons of machinery?" asked Doc.

"No matter," said Doc's double. "It has already been done. And that is
as great a secret as your own. Combined, they give us the greatest
power on earth. Already, we have a few men of great wealth who will
contribute to our campaign."

"Men with wealth would not embark upon such an enterprise," stated
Doc.

"Ah!" stated Doc's double. "One such man has escaped us. He never will
forget what he saw. Just now, you are seeing our pleasant little
friends with the horns and the many heads. They do not affect you. But
there are many persons who will not know the truth.

"In fact, Doc Savage, when it comes to telling the boys with millions
where they get off, this beneficial device of yours is a devilish
contraption."

Doc's double stepped to the disk in the wall. He spoke a few words.
Almost instantly the dingy cellar room became normal. The hydra-headed
monsters vanished.

In their place were the green eyes of the gray rats, who still
scurried about. They only awaited the extinguishing of that light in
the ceiling.



Chapter X. TEETH OF THE RATS

DOC'S double stepped quickly before the man of bronze.

"Picked bones in an old basement cellar, when and if they are
discovered, mean little on New York's East Side," he remarked
pleasantly. "Too many poor devils have died in too many unpleasant
ways to cause much furor."

Doc Savage now could see the other bronze man clearly.

"Regardless of your disguise," said Doc, "I shall know you instantly
when we meet again. In your case I shall have several items to
remember."

The oozy walls of the old cellar shook. The rumble might have been
that of an "el" train or a subway. Doc Savage knew well enough his
remarkable bronze double was speaking the truth.

This dungeon was not directly under a house. It was placed beneath
what had been the end of an abandoned street. Years before, it had
marked the outlet of an old storm sewer.

Apparently the route of the sewer had been changed. There was nothing
now but the crumbling walls of broken masonry leading into the depths.
No doubt, this emerged far under the East River. Possibly the outlet
had long ago been broken and filled with sand and silt from the
river's bottom.

The gurgle and suck of the water could be heard.

"Remembering me will do you little good, Doc Savage," said his double
pleasantly. "The bones of one man are much the same as those of
another. There will be no broken bones, no bullet marks. The rest of
your brief existence lies now between you and your friends, the rats."

Doc Savage was fully aware even his great strength could not break
those rawhide thongs. They had been bound about him with uncanny
skill. One knot or two might be severed, but the others would hold.

"The rats are keeping back in the shadows now," said Doc's double.
"But even your strength cannot break those rawhide thongs. I could
dispose of you now, but there must be no marks. None but ourselves--
not even my men--have been in this basement tomb."



DOC'S double strode toward ascending stone steps. His movements were a
perfect imitation of the man he was leaving behind to die. His steps
rang with a hollow sound on the stone. A heavy iron door clanged shut.

Doc Savage was alone with the horde of rats.

Doc's body was nearly stripped. His arms and wrists were bound firmly
behind him. All his tremendous strength only tightened the rawhide
cords.

He could hear the distant gurgle of water in the old storm sewer. The
opening of this was dimly visible. It was back of the main horde of
rats.

Doc kept close eye on the light bulb. All the time, he set his trained
muscles against the rawhide cords. Perhaps one would yield.

But he was not seeing the cellar and the light bulb. Occasionally the
writhing, leaping monsters filled the space.

They were a terrible weapon in the hands of unscrupulous persons.
There was little doubt but that this bronze man who was Doc's double
was one of the world's most unscrupulous men.

In some manner, Doc Savage knew, his double and his men had gotten
full control of the globes. And yet nothing that moved along the
highway could have transferred the machinery from one spot to another.

Once more the monsters of the dungeon disappeared. There was now only
the vaguely flickering lamp bulb. Once it winked out. Immediately
there was a rush of the rats. Then the light came on again.

With the light on again for a few moments, Doc studied the dungeon. He
was too tightly bound to attempt to climb the steep stone steps. He
rolled over and watched the rats scuttling behind some boxes.

Slowly, with infinite caution, the bronze giant lay down on the floor.
Inch by inch, he pushed toward the boxes in the corner. With great
care, he thrust his bound arms between the boxes.

Here his arms and wrists were in the darkness. It required the maximum
of will power to keep his arms there.

Great rats attacked in this dark space. Their edged teeth sliced into
the rawhide thongs. They did not miss the flesh. But to the rats, the
hide of the binding cord was an unusual delicacy. Doc had remembered
that hordes of rats live around tanneries. They are an evil all
tanners must combat.

The rawhide thongs went first. Doc's massive arms did not escape. When
his hands at last broke free, blood was pouring over his fingers. He
got the thongs off his legs in record time.

But as he heaved himself from the floor, the little light went out.
Immediately, the blood-crazed rats were upon him. They sprang upward
and clung with teeth and claws. Doc could not see his horde of
enemies. He could fight them only when they struck.

The man of bronze got across the dark cellar. He had fixed the
position of the stone steps ascended by his double. On these steps, he
was able to beat back the rats a little better.



ACHIEVING the exit door accomplished nothing. For Doc's great
shoulders might as well have been set under the foundation of his own
skyscraper headquarters.

The exit door was a solid block of thick concrete. It was smooth
underneath, with no mark for a ring or handle.

There remained but one outlet.

This was the broken storm sewer of the East River, filled to the
dungeon with water seepage. Perhaps it was not solidly blocked at the
underwater end.

Doc Savage backed into the small space. He beat the rats away from his
face with his hands. Suddenly one hand encountered what felt like a
rounded club.

This proved an effective weapon. But the rats were ferociously
determined not to be cheated of their meal. Doc was backing into the
cold water of the river in the sewer.

He was striking with the club. Again, his other hand encountered what
might have been clubs. Then he discovered he had been fighting the
rats with the thigh bone of a human skeleton.

From the big man of bronze broke that eerie, weird, melodious
trilling. It was considerably unlike the imitation employed by Doc's
double.

Doc Savage whipped squealing rats off his face. In the muck of the
broken sewer, he collected an armful of human bones. He succeeded in
gathering together the complete skeleton.

The darkness was Stygian. Doc felt his way back into the stone
dungeon. Rats sprang and fought him all the way. The bronze man had
lost a great deal of blood.

When he again backed into the old sewer, all the bones of a human
skeleton had been piled in the basement cellar. Doc Savage smiled
grimly.

Now he was in water up to his waist. The rats would not follow. The
top of the old sewer bumped his head. Within a few yards, the sucking
tide of the East River touched it.

Battling away the last of the rats, Doc Savage filled his lungs and
submerged. Even the divers of Southern Seas could not surpass the man
of bronze under water.

But there was always the chance this broken sewer would be blocked.
Doc swam rapidly away from the basin.

The rats were gone now. Doc's only enemy was the river itself. This
busted old sewer conduit. All at once, the bronze man struck
something. This was a rusted iron grating lodged solidly across the
sewer outlet under the river.

The bronze man applied all his remaining strength to loosen this iron.
It was weighted down by what seemed to be tons of mud and river silt.
It could not be moved.

Doc raised his head, only to discover no space existed between the top
of the sewer and the water. His bronze hands wrenched desperately at
the iron grating.

At last there was no more air and little more strength in Doc's huge
body. He pulled feebly at the bars of the grating. He could not now
have returned to the dungeon of the rats if he had so desired. All
avenues of escape were cut off.

Something struck the iron grating. Doc could feel the barrier move.
This seemed incredible. It was as if giant fingers had suddenly
reached under the river and given their aid to the bronze giant.

Doc could only cling to the iron grating. Slowly, it was being torn
away. Claws like steel came through. They narrowly missed Doc's face.

About this time, Doc Savage must have lost consciousness. But his
hands still were thrust through that iron grating.



ALL the time, Doc Savage was seeing the hideous monsters at intervals.
Strangely enough, the man of bronze could have quit seeing the
unbelievable creatures at any time.

But it was by his continued view of the monsters that Doc was keeping
check on what his mysterious enemies were doing.

However, Doc Savage was seeing nothing when the bucket of an East
River dredge clanked to the surface bearing the section of iron
grating that had been over an abandoned storm sewer.

"Holy mackerel!" shouted a big member of the dredging crew. "Look what
we've snagged on the bottom! We've got a corpse!"

Indeed, it looked as though this might have been a corpse. It was the
huge bronze body of Doc Savage.

The bronzed hands still were locked in the bars of the sewer grating.



Chapter XI. SKYSCRAPER MURDER

POSSIBLY it was some hours after Doc Savage was scooped from the
bottom of the East River that three men entered the downtown Manhattan
skyscraper.

These three men drew smiles of recognition from two men on one of the
rear freight elevators. Whenever there was a load to be moved for Doc
Savage, it meant an extra, generous tip.

The three men who made their way up on the freight elevators were the
big bronze man, Renny, with his solemn face and his slow movements,
and Monk, who, having once been seen, could never again be mistaken
for some other person.

Sam Simpson had been in the Manhattan building for a long time. The
other man was a new employee.

"Forget everythin' else, an' do what the big bronze guy wants; he'll
make it worth our while," advised Sam Simpson.

Doc Savage had once paid for making one of the Simpson children walk
again. The operators held the elevator on the eighty-sixth floor.

The doors of Doc Savage's headquarters opened by the usual radio
control. This would always remain a mystery to Sam Simpson. Once
inside, the man of bronze issued hasty orders.

"That stuff in the laboratory first," he directed. "Bring in the cases
from the elevator. I want especially to have all the electro-magnetic
machinery packed."

Renny and Monk moved as if they knew their way around. The bronze man
aided in packing some of the stuff. But most of the time seemed to be
occupied in a wrecking expedition.

"If they get back in here, I'll bet they don't find much stuff
working," stated the man of bronze.

This indicated he was deliberately acting to remove intricate devices,
and to destroy those which were permanent fixtures.

It must have seemed that Doc Savage's experience of the past few hours
had made it seem necessary to transfer his headquarters to some other
location.

Strangely, for Renny, he seemed clumsy. He broke two pieces of
television equipment in removing it from the wall.

"Be careful of that stuff, Renny," growled the bronze man.

Sam Simpson was listening at the door.

"O. K.!" snapped Renny. "But how would I know the thing would bust
when you touched it?"

Several huge wooden cases had been brought up. These were filled.

"Stack them on the alley loading platform," instructed the man of
bronze. "We're having a truck brought around, to take them away."

"Certainly, Mr. Savage," agreed Sam Simpson.

But the elevator man was suddenly watching the bronze man closely. He
had heard the sharp words between the bronze guy and Renny. It must
have seemed somewhat unusual to Sam Simpson.



A DOZEN cases had been packed and removed by the freight elevator when
the man of bronze said, "The truck is just around the corner. It's a
big Red Rooster moving van. One of you fellows can call it around for
the load."

Sam Simpson spoke to his fellow operator.

"You call the truck, Jim," he directed. "I'll help with the rest of
this stuff."

Monk's long arms were wrapped about a small case. This must have
contained glass. It slipped from the chemist's arms. There was a
crackling impact.

Sam Simpson was looking directly at Monk. Monk had reddish hair of
almost a furry texture. But over one ear, Sam Simpson was sure he had
glimpsed a small patch of smooth, black hair. The elevator man moved
closer to Monk.

At that instant, the awkward Renny again stumbled. A wooden case
struck one foot of the bronze man. The bronze man's fist lashed out
and caught Renny a staggering blow under the chin.

"You damn big lummox!" shouted the bronze man. "Whyn't you look
whatcher doin'?"

Sam Simpson blocked the controls of the freight elevator. One of his
hands slapped at Monk's head. A wig of fuzzy, red hair flew off.

Sam Simpson knew that Doc Savage never became excited. He also was
aware that Doc never shouted at any one.

"Hey!" yelled Sam Simpson. "Wait a minute! You ain't takin' any more
of this stuff down! There's somethin' phony here! I'll see--"

What Sam Simpson intended to say, never would be told by him. An oath
whistled from the teeth of the bronze man. One big hand caught Sam
Simpson's throat. It jammed the operator's head back with slow,
sickening force.

Sam Simpson's eyes protruded. He clawed uselessly with his hairy
hands. Then his spine cracked like a dry stick. The bronze man laughed
mirthlessly.

"We'll have to move fast now," he said. "I didn't expect to get this
far without a jam. Dump him down the side."

The ugly, squat fellow who had been enacting the role of Monk picked
up the body of Sam Simpson. The elevator was some twenty floors from
the alleyway basement. Sam Simpson must have turned over a dozen times
before all of his bones were broken at the bottom.

The other elevator operator came running in.

"Here's your Red Rooster truck!" he shouted. "What's become of Sam?"

The bronze man's reply was without words. The second elevator man was
not in evidence when the Red Rooster truck was being loaded. The
bronze man and his two companions swung onto the truck as it drove
away.



THE truck had just vanished toward the East River when two cars
arrived at Doc's headquarters. These carried Ham, Long Tom and Johnny,
and Inspector Higgins with Jane Davidson.

Inspector Higgins did not care for Doc's high-speed elevator. Its
rocket-like ascent to the eighty-sixth floor was too much for his
nerves. On the other hand, the cool, black-haired Jane Davidson seemed
to enjoy the upward flight immensely.

"Good gracious!" exclaimed Jane Davidson at the eighty-sixth floor.
"Your Doc Savage must have got back!"

"It does look like it--" began Johnny. Then he closed up like a clam.

With Ham and Long Tom, Johnny was staring at the havoc which had been
wrought in the big laboratory. Bits of broken packing cases lay all
over the outside floors.

"So, the big bronze guy beat it?" snapped Jane Davidson. "And you
still think he's on the square? Wrecks his own joint while he sends
you fellows on a wild-goose chase! Anyway, he's made a good job of
it!"

"The sooner you choke, the better pleased I'll be," muttered Ham.
"Come on, Johnny, Long Tom--there's been a lot of stuff freighted down
the back way! We've been raided!"

"Well! Well! Well!" snapped Inspector Higgins, coming in. "That's your
story. But they've found one man knocked out, an' another one croaked
downstairs!"

"Maybe there's been an accident," ventured Long Tom. "It looks as if
we've had burglars up here."

"Hooey!" snarled Inspector Higgins. "Accident? One man at the bottom
of an elevator shaft with his head almost knocked off, an' another one
just comin' out from under a punch on the chin!"

"Perhaps it's difficult for you to understand," stated Ham. "But we
have had visitors who didn't belong up here. Some of our most valuable
equipment has been taken away. Find the thieves and you've got the men
who killed that elevator operator."



SAM SIMPSON was dead. But the other elevator man was not hard to find.
After he got back his senses and his voice, he was very much on the
job.

"Sam was killed by that big bronze fellow he called Doc Savage,"
volunteered the elevator man. "Sam told me he was Doc Savage. He said
if we handled the bronze fellow's stuff carefully, we would get a big
tip. So we handled it right, an' that's what poor Sam got. Then the
bronze guy poked me on the chin."

"Can you describe the two fellows with this Doc Savage?" demanded
Inspector Higgins.

"Betcher life I can!" asserted the elevator man. "You couldn't miss
'em, even if they was in a crowd at Coney Island! One had red hair all
over and looked like a baboon. Sam called him Monk. The other one was
as big as the bronze guy an' looked like he was goin' to a funeral.
Sam called him Renny."

"Which cinches the whole thing!" said Inspector Higgins. "Maybe you
fellows can tell me why this Renny and Monk beat it right after we had
that runaway truck out at the Twentieth Century plant?"

"Aw, what's the use in talking about it?" said Ham, with disgust. "You
heard them say they were going to the Hudson River hangars to look for
Doc. That is about the only place left where we haven't searched."

"I don't know anythin' about your Hudson River hangars!" shouted the
living elevator man. "I know this fellow called Doc Savage broke Sam
Simpson's neck! He ain't out at no hangars! He left here in that Red
Rooster truck!"

"Red Rooster truck?" snapped Inspector Higgins. "Now we've got to go
chasin' another truck!"

"Our luck doesn't seem to be finding things in trucks," commented Ham
caustically. "We ought to try chasing a street car for a change."

"I believe you're all murderers!" raged Jane Davidson. "You would
protect your Doc Savage to the limit! I'm going back to the
laboratories and see if Professor Spargrove is all right!"

"Your decision merits supreme acclamation," declared Johnny.

"In other words," supplied Ham, "if you never come back, it will be a
great relief to us."

"Quit evadin' the issue!" gulped Inspector Higgins. "I wish to know at
once if Renny and Monk are at the Hudson River hangars! What is the
number?"

"It isn't listed," stated Ham. "But I'll prove to you that Renny and
Monk went straight to the hangars."

Ham connected with a number, while Inspector Higgins listened on the
extension.

"No," replied one of the caretakers at the Hudson River hangars, "we
haven't seen Doc Savage, or Renny, or Monk for several days. We've
been wondering what had happened."

"Well! Well! Well!" rapped Inspector Higgins. "We will again go
trailin' a truck! This one probably ain't got nothin' in it but eggs
or somethin'!"

Jane Davidson had flounced out to return to Professor Spargrove.



TWO cars flashed northward over the truck highway out of Manhattan.
Because of its glaring Red Rooster insignia, the truck these cars were
trailing was not difficult to trace.

The Red Rooster truck apparently had followed the Second Avenue route.
This heavy vehicle thoroughfare parallels the East River to a bridge
crossing far above the East Nineties.

The main highway northward was the old Boston Post Road. It is a
heavily traveled road.

But Red Rooster vans were scarce.

Filling-station operators identified the flaming signs of the big van.
Yes, it had turned northward on the highway paralleling one of the
main lines of railroad.

Inspector Higgins was a firm believer in clearing traffic with his
wailing siren. This disgusted Long Tom, who was driving one of Doc's
cars.

"That Red Rooster driver will know we're on his trail at least a
couple of miles before we catch up with him," growled Long Tom. "What
do you suppose has happened to Doc?"

"I've been trying not to think about that," grunted Ham. "If he could
get to us, he would."

A few more filling-station operators identified the Red Rooster van.
It was still headed north along the railroad.

Several times, it seemed, the pursuing cars had lost all trace of the
Red Rooster van. Then a motorist became obliging.

"Sure, I saw a big truck with a Red Rooster on its side layin' in the
ditch about five miles up the road," he volunteered.

A few minutes later the two cars arrived at the car wreck.

Inspector Higgins walked around the truck. He came back and glared at
Ham, Johnny and Long Tom.

"I'll betcha you fellows knew just what was goin' to happen!" he
accused them. "There ain't a damn thing in that bus but some straw an'
some broken glass!"

"I fear we would have to resort to some obscure occultism," supplied
the long-worded Johnny.

"We ain't resortin' to nothin' but the hoosegow for Doc Savage, if we
can catch up with him!" rapped Inspector Higgins.

Many persons had gathered around the overturned Red Rooster truck.
None recalled the unloading of the wrecked van.



Chapter XII. THE PROFESSOR'S FINISH

WHILE Inspector Higgins was making a general nuisance of himself on
the old Boston Post Road, Professor Lanidus Spargrove was sitting
dejectedly in the office of his laboratories.

Inspector Higgins was getting nowhere. All he was doing was snarling
up traffic. Inspector Higgins now suspected every innocent motorist of
being the notorious Doc Savage. He had heard many reports of the
bronze man's ability to disguise himself.

Still there had been no definite trace of what had become of the
contents of the Red Rooster van. The Red Rooster company freely
admitted hiring the truck out for a hauling job earlier in the day.

Perhaps Professor Lanidus Spargrove also wanted to find Doc Savage. As
he sat in the gloomy office of his laboratories, he was apparently a
deserted man. None of his workmen had appeared.

"What'll I do, Doc?" was the murmur of Professor Spargrove.

Occasionally, the little man passed his hands over his eyes. He would
stare at the walls. Then he would speak other words.

"They're there, Doc! They're there!"

These other words became almost a scream.

"Why did you do this to me, Doc?" was another sentence Professor
Spargrove uttered.

Occasionally he let out a yell. "Stop them, Doc! Stop them!"

Two police guards remained at the plant. They regarded Professor
Spargrove as some kind of lunatic.

"If he don't stop that yappin' about seein' things, he'll have me
doin' it!" grunted one of the guards.

Professor Spargrove wandered from his office. He stood looking at the
immense concrete foundation. There, clearly imprinted, were the marks
where two huge copper balls had rested. On other blocks the bolt
pinions of electrical machinery apparently had been removed bodily.

Great strength had been required to accomplish that.

Suddenly Professor Spargrove was back in the room with the small tanks
of stagnant water.

He yelled. The two police guards could hear him plainly.

"I've got it, Doc! I know who did it! I know why it was done! There
could have been only one person! I'll find you, Doc, and I'll tell!
There they are again! This will mean a world catastrophe!"

The police guards heard Professor Spargrove rush back into his inner
office.

"If that was me," commented one of the guards, "I'd give that guy a
shot in the arm. But maybe the inspector hopes he'll spill somethin'."



PROFESSOR LANIDUS SPARGROVE never was to divulge anything of great
importance.

It must have been that Professor Spargrove was fleeing from something
more definite than vague monsters he might have been seeing. Almost
immediately, a woman screamed.

"Now what?" yelped one of the guards. "How did that dame get in
there?" They clumped toward the inner offices.

The two guards did not reach Professor Spargrove's inner offices. A
crazy-looking young woman rushed out. Her black hair was streaming.
Fresh blood spilled in scarlet stains over her dress.

"He grabbed me!" she yelled. "Oh, he grabbed me! He was all cut to
pieces. He said 'Doc Savage!'"

The young woman dashed past the guards.

"There were two of them!" she shrieked. "They were going toward
Professor Spargrove's offices! I shouted to warn him! But there was a
tall man! He looked like Doc Savage! He caught me and pushed my head
into one of the tanks!"

Apparently the young woman had been pushed into one of the tanks
containing the stagnant water. Green weeds were mixed with the blood
in her hair.

One of the police guards caught hold of one of the girl's arms.

"What happened then?" he demanded. "Have you been seein' things, too?"

"No! No!" screamed Jane Davidson. "I saw nothing! Only those two huge
shadows! One was holding a knife! Before I got out of the tank of
water, I heard Professor Spargrove groan!"

"What happened then?" the police guard questioned again.

"Professor Spargrove threw his arms around me!" gabbled the frightened
girl. "The shadows were gone! The professor just said, 'Doc Savage,'
and then he fell down!"



NO doubt, blood had been spurting from Professor Spargrove's throat.
His greater veins had been severed by a sharp knife.

Jane Davidson must have had a horrible experience. Her disheveled
appearance indicated Professor Spargrove had died in her arms.

"'Doc Savage!' was all he said just before he died!" Jane Davidson
kept repeating.

"Then you think Doc Savage had somethin' to do with his death?" asked
the county copper.

"I don't know! Oh, how could I know? He might have had many reasons
for speaking Doc Savage's name just before he died!" cried the girl.

Jane Davidson looked to be ready for a room in some sanitarium. But
that amazing young woman quickly recovered her self-possession.

"I'm going back to Doc Savage's men," she announced. "I'm going to
stick with them until we have run this Doc Savage to earth. Nobody but
Doc Savage and one of his men were in the laboratories. Professor
Spargrove and myself were the only persons who knew the secret of his
life's work."



ABOUT the time Jane Davidson was discovering the murder of Professor
Spargrove, big Renny and Monk were nearing the Hudson River hangars.
Though this was the location of Doc Savage's most important aërial and
underwater craft, it looked to be only a very shabby warehouse.

A little sign read: "Hidalgo Trading Co."

"Holy cow!" boomed Renny. "If Doc had been around the hangars, the
radio hook-up would have showed it before this!"

"Howlin' calamities!" yelped Monk. "You know what I think? I believe
Doc's been held prisoner somewhere while we've been chasin' fake radio
calls!"

"But, confound it!" thumped Renny. "There ain't anybody could use our
code!"

"Well, anyway, it seems to me that the kind of guy who could elope
with ten tons of machinery from one place an' a five-ton safe from
another spot in the middle of railroad yards wouldn't have much
trouble stealin' a few special air waves," asserted Monk. "I'm
beginnin' to think none of these messages we got were on the square!"

"Good gravy!" thundered Renny. "Then where's Doc been all this time?
What's them copper globes for, anyway?"

"I'm only a chemist," said Monk plaintively. "I ain't any magician.
Besides--"

The long, low sedan was only a few blocks from the Hidalgo Trading Co.
warehouse. The narrow water-front streets along this part of the
Hudson River were gloomy. Monk slowed the car for a traffic light.

Now the ears of Doc's companions were almost as keen as his own. The
bronze man had taught them a great deal of his system of training. Any
one should have heard the opening of a car door, especially when
riding in the front seat of that car.

But the controlled voice which spoke proved that Renny and Monk had
accumulated an unexpected and uninvited passenger. The voice came from
the rear seat.

"When you pass this light, keep driving--but do not go to the
hangars."

Having once heard it, none could ever mistake the calm, penetrating
voice of Doc Savage. The bronze man had come out of the night. He was
in the rear seat.

When Renny saw his figure, the big engineer gasped. For Renny seemed
to be looking at himself, as in a mirror. Doc Savage had made himself
an exact counterpart of his giant companion. Now the real bronze man
issued swift instructions.

Renny, the engineer, was dropped from the car in an isolated section.
Doc Savage himself took the wheel. Yet any one seeing the bronze man
and Monk driving back toward downtown Manhattan would have sworn this
remarkable substitution had not been made.

From under the hood of the car came a strident whining. Monk
identified it instantly as a call meant for them. He twirled the dial:

Professor Spargrove murdered--Police ordered to pick up Doc Savage,
Colonel John Renwick and Andrew Blodgett Mayfair at once--Jane
Davidson has found card clutched in Professor Spargrove's hand--Has
not told police--Card had address which may be important--Jane wants
all Doc's men to meet her alone--Renny and Monk lay low--Hudson River
hangars watched--Gyroplane on upper river--If you receive, give
counter signal--

Monk twirled the dial. He turned to Doc Savage, who now was driving.

He yelped. "Did you get that? All of us are wanted! They've bumped off
that professor!"

"I thought that would happen," stated Doc. "The professor knew too
much. That is why it is best, for the present, that I appear as Renny.
It will be believed I am dead. We will meet this Jane Davidson on the
upper Hudson. That was Ham sending."

Then Doc added, "For the present, we will let Jane Davidson and the
others imagine I am Renny."



HALF an hour later the big sedan carrying Monk, with Doc Savage at the
wheel, slid down a little-used road. In a sheltered spot, a peculiar
craft lay moored to the shore.

This machine appeared to be a huge umbrella with four small leaves. It
was an ordinary type of gyroplane, but it was winged and powered for
added speed.

Jane Davidson was with Doc's other three companions. It was plain that
neither Long Tom, Johnny nor Ham had accepted the girl through
friendship. But Jane Davidson plainly was excited.

"Professor Spargrove must have scribbled the note in his own blood,
then tried to reach the door of his office," declared the girl. "It
might not mean much to other persons, but I know what he tried to
tell. Here it is."

Cragrock Sanit

Here the dying professor's hand must have failed. The card was blotted
with the man's own blood. Jane Davidson explained.

"I remember taking it when Professor Spargrove grabbed me and fell,
but I did not think it important. Now I know he wanted me to look for
something at Cragrock Sanitarium. It's one of the most isolated places
in the State. No road of any kind goes there."

"Then how are we supposed to reach this mythical sanitarium?" demanded
Ham.

"That's part of its secret," smiled Jane Davidson. "And I believe it
is one of the places maintained by Doc Savage."

"If you don't lay off Doc, I ain't budgin' an inch," grunted Monk.
"Now I suppose you think he killed this Professor Spargrove?"

Jane Davidson shook her comely, black head.

"I can't help it, even if I think that," she announced. "But I do
believe the rest of you have been misled. You are entitled to a break.
Also, I think you will come nearer finding the murderer of Professor
Spargrove than the police. Even if it's Doc Savage, I'll depend on you
to play square."

Ham, Johnny and Long Tom had not penetrated Doc's disguise. To them he
was big Renny. Now they heard an amazing statement.

"Holy cow!" boomed Doc in Renny's thunderous voice. "If Doc or anybody
else has been responsible for this killin', I want to be among the
first to get him!"

"Well, I'll be superamalgamated!" exclaimed Johnny. The scholarly
geologist was staring.



"THE sanitarium is operated by a man called Doctor Josiah Anstratton,"
said Jane Davidson. "He is a queer combination. Once he practiced
psychiatry. Later, he took up geology. Then he built an observatory at
this place he calls Cragrock. Now, I believe, he takes care of only
exclusive patients who arrive by plane."

Doc Savage said, "This Doctor Anstratton doesn't add mythology and
oceanography to his other hobbies, does he? Perhaps he takes some of
his nutty patients up there and tries to get their minds off
themselves by giving them a course in astronomy?"

Jane Davidson replied, "Professor Spargrove told me once that Doctor
Anstratton had taken up astronomy and other applied sciences to bring
his wealthy patients back to normal."

"Daggonit!" piped up Monk. "An' maybe that includes havin' his
patients see things that don't exist!"

Ham fixed a cold and glittering eye upon the ugly chemist.

"Those things do exist!" he snapped. "I don't wish you any bad luck,
insect, but I hope you see a few of them yourself!"

Doc Savage, as Renny, interrupted.

"I've been lookin' over some charts," he stated. "This Cragrock
Sanitarium is situated on the peak of a walled mountain. Three sides
always have been abrupt precipices upon which no highways could be
constructed."

"And so," supplied Johnny, "we're supposed to conduct a nice, quiet
search by coming down on the landing field this Doctor Anstratton
maintains at the top of the mountain."



Chapter XIII. MURDER IN THE NIGHT

WITH all but Monk still believing him to be missing, the man of bronze
continued in his role of Renny, the engineer, as he directed the
flight. His purpose now was to mislead Jane Davidson as to his
identity, until the real status of this young woman was more clearly
established.

Soon the flat mesa of Cragrock stuck up from the ground like a man's
bald head. In this appeared an elongated slit.

"That's Cragrock, all right," said Jane Davidson. "These goggles are
wonderful! There doesn't seem to be any one moving outside!"

The goggles referred to by the girl were wonderful. The others were
also in a position to see clearly without being seen from below.

The gyroplane's infra-red beam projector was working. Its black-and-
white illumination swept all the space around Cragrock Sanitarium.

"The nearest highway is about ten miles away," stated Long Tom. "But
there are lines in that old granite quarry down there. I'll bet those
were the switch tracks they used to haul out the rock. They run right
up to the wall."

It could be seen this line of railroad must have been built some ten
miles into the hills for the purpose of taking out the valuable
granite. Then it was apparent the vein of granite had run out.

"Looks like they had run into some softer quartz back of the granite,"
explained Johnny. "The observatory is on top of that quartz. It's
softer rock. Doctor Anstratton could have constructed himself an
inside passage up to his sanitarium."

"Loosen up the tops," instructed Doc suddenly. "Johnny, you hold the
gyroplane in position. I'm havin' a look down below."

"Good gravy!" exploded Ham. "If it's anybody's job to take that jump,
it's mine or maybe Long Tom's. You're heavy, Renny, for a 'chute
drop."

Doc Savage was slipping into the harness of a special parachute.

"I'll have a look around first," he stated in Renny's voice. "Keep the
black light on. I'll rub you a signal if you are to land and where."

By this, Renny meant he would use a special fluorescent chemical on
the ground below. Thus, without having been observed, the gyroplane
could be set down right in Doctor Anstratton's front yard.



DOC did not make the jump at once. It was Jane Davidson who cried out.

"Oh! They can see us! Look! That man is pointing up here!"

The sanitarium with its bald-domed observatory was much of the same
construction as the Spargrove Laboratories. Only a low door showed
here and there. From one of these doors, a man had darted.

"He didn't wait to put on his clothes!" exclaimed Ham.

It did appear as though the man was wearing only a nightshirt. This
flapped around his skinny legs.

The running man did not seem to be affected by the rain or the cold.
He could not see the gyroplane now hovering a few hundred feet above
him. But he did seem to be pointing upward.

"By gosh!" exploded Long Tom. "He's fightin' somethin'!"

The nearly naked man was leaping madly. He was striking all around him
in the air.

Doc had whipped out a strange-looking pair of binoculars.

These were superlensed. They showed all objects in four dimensions at
any distance.

"Who does that fellow look like, Johnny?" asked Doc.

"Well, I'll be superamalgamated!" exploded Johnny. "That's Rufus
Bannaford! He's been missing for weeks!"

Now other men were running from the building. They were fully dressed.
Half a dozen seemed to be pursuing the fleeing man in the nightshirt.

Above pursued and pursuer, the gyroplane was hovering like a silent,
gray moth. Its infra-red beam projector outlined the drama below.

Rufus Bannaford screamed once, a high-pitched yell of terror. His bare
feet spurned stones from the very lip of the granite quarry.

"Oh! He'll be killed!" cried Jane Davidson.

For once that cool young woman seemed overcome. Her eyes closed. She
fainted. Her body struck the lever controlling the infra-red beam.
When the running man fell from the cliff, those in the plane did not
see the tragedy.

"Keep the plane steady!" boomed Doc Savage in Renny's voice, and
jumped.

Johnny attempted to swing the infra-red beam into service. Jane
Davidson's plump body was jammed across the lever.

"There's somethin' haywire about all this," grumbled Long Tom, who was
handling the device which operated the four blades of the gyroplane.
"First it's Ham slips a notch, and begins seein' things, and now it's
Renny gone off his bean. There's nothin' to be gained by jumpin' out
and gettin' mixed up down there."

Monk made a chuckling noise in his throat. He was getting a big kick
out of the others believing Doc to be Renny.



LONG TOM succeeded in holding the gyroplane a few hundred feet above
the light which marked the bald dome of the Cragrock Sanitarium.

A thunderstorm was rising over the mountain. This let go with a
sudden, blinding sheet of lightning. In this, those in the plane could
clearly see several figures below.

These figures looked as if they were balanced on the lip of the
thousand-foot drop into the abandoned granite quarry.

"That fellow Bannaford took his last dive over the wall," asserted
Ham. "Probably Doctor Anstratton's men will go down there looking for
him. It wouldn't be so good to have his body discovered that close to
the sanitarium."

Lightning started playing more luridly across the mountain. The men
near the sanitarium had ceased looking into the old quarry. They were
darting about. Some pointed upward.

Two or three men were running back toward the sanitarium.

But while the pursuers of the mad millionaire may have seen the
gyroplane, they did not detect the parachute in which Doc Savage had
jumped.

Wind of the increasing storm whipped at the big body under the swaying
parachute. This was a gale across the knob. It threatened to slap the
'chute over the edge of the rocks and down into the granite quarry.

Doc did not wish to land in the old quarry. Nor did he intend to be
trapped by dropping directly among those who had run out in pursuit of
Rufus Bannaford.

The big man under the 'chute gathered some of the cords in one immense
hand. This lessened the spread of the parachute.

The 'chute landed on Cragrock. Yet none saw it. All eyes were directed
at the flapping wings of the hovering gyroplane.

The bronze man's 'chute collapsed directly on the rounded top of the
observatory tower. Doc rolled along the sloping roof. Few persons in
the world could have maintained a hold.

Doc freed himself from the cords of the 'chute. He slid along the roof
to the edge of the slit through which protruded the body of Doctor
Anstratton's telescope. Here he was looking directly into the inner
room of the observatory.

What he saw there brought a gasp of amazement.

If Doctor Josiah Anstratton was engaged in treating persons suffering
with mental disorders, he was employing unusual methods. He must have
been giving treatment to four patients at this time.

Four men were tightly bound to chairs. These chairs were of carved
stone.

The four patients were so held as to be unable to move any of their
muscles. Only their eyes were alive.

Doc twisted his big body alongside the projecting telescope. His hands
slid along its smooth surface. Heavy glass surrounded the instrument.
Doc did something to this glass with some liquid he spilled from a
small bottle.

The glass broke and came away. Doc did not permit any of it to fall
inside the room below.



THOSE in the gyroplane had no glimpse of Doc. At this time, Johnny was
engaged in attempting to start the forward speed motor. The plane had
dropped to within two hundred feet of Cragrock.

"Them gorillas are shootin' at us!" yelled Monk.

This seemed to be true. From the summit of Cragrock spurted short
slices of blue flame. But there was no sound of bullets striking the
gyroplane.

If bullets were coming from the guns being fired, there were no bright
lines indicating combustible tracers. But suddenly there was something
much more disastrous.

"They've got us!" rapped out Long Tom. "That's what I've been
expecting! Everything's gone dead!"

The blue slices of flame ceased coming from the ground. But the
gyroplane was dropping.

Long Tom's expert hands played across dead switches. Sustained only by
its revolving blades, the gyroplane was dropping directly into the
depths of the old granite quarry.



Chapter XIV. FEAR OF MADNESS

LONG TOM and his companions in the gyroplane knew what had happened.
One of several rays perfected for disabling plane motors had been
employed.

The long, revolving gyro blades on top of the plane prevented it from
being dashed to pieces.

The gyroplane struck with force enough to partly stun its occupants.
Monk's long arms prevented the plump Jane Davidson from being dashed
into one of the windows.

"Now I know it's Doc Savage!" she asserted. "No one but him could have
stopped one of his own planes like that! What are we going to do?"

"Daggonit!" grunted Monk. "One more crack about Doc, an' I'm goin' to
put you back in some thorn bushes like I found you!"

"I've got an idea we had better collect everything we need and get as
far away from the plane as possible," advised Ham suddenly.



WHILE Doc Savage's companions were following Ham's advice, four men
sat in stone chairs. All four were men of gray-haired dignity.

A queerly deformed figure paced before the four men. His hands were
mostly knuckles. All his flesh had shrunken away.

This man laughed with a malicious chuckle. One shoulder twisted much
higher than the other. This shoulder was the controlling feature in
the life of Doctor Josiah Anstratton.

Doctor Anstratton undoubtedly owned one of the world's most remarkable
brains. Perhaps if he had been normal physically, his mind might not
have become warped as it was.

But as he walked, Doctor Anstratton tried to make it appear that the
lower shoulder was as high as the other. This gave him the appearance
of a hobbling dwarf. But he was a tall man.

The eyes of the four men in the stone chairs followed the figure of
the doctor. One of the four men spoke. He could have been identified
as Jonas Hydebottom.

The name of Jonas Hydebottom was a power in financial circles. He was
noted as a man who had no fear.

"I don't believe it, Doctor Anstratton! You're not that crazy," said
Jonas Hydebottom. "You wouldn't dare let Bannaford go to his death.
This talk about Doc Savage proves this whole thing is a bluff!"

Doctor Anstratton rubbed his bony knuckles and chuckled.

"Already you have observed what might happen," he stated. "You will
see more, much more. Doc Savage is dead. We have his bones."

The bodies of all four men in the stone chairs seemed to shiver.



SHORTLY before the gyroplane owned by Doc Savage had arrived over
Cragrock, five men had sat in five stone chairs. These chairs were of
peculiar, carved construction.

When there had been five men in the chairs, Doctor Anstratton had
walked before them.

Rufus Bannaford, the youngest of the prisoners, had been seated in the
fifth of the stone chairs.

"You are all men of wealth and influence," Doctor Anstratton had
announced, in a calm voice. "All of you are acquainted with the bronze
man known as Doc Savage. First of all, Doc Savage is dead. His
marvelous devices and inventions have passed into my hands."

Rufus Bannaford had worn a scornful grin.

"Nuts!" he said quite distinctly. "You've been looking into that
telescope so long you've begun seeing things, doctor!"

Doctor Anstratton had controlled his fierce anger with an effort.

"Seeing things?" he snarled. "That's exactly what you'll be doing,
unless you are prepared to be reasonable! I tell you I will soon
control all Doc Savage's inventions! I lack only financial backing to
become a world benefactor! You, gentlemen, are going to supply some of
that backing!"

"Nuts!" came from Rufus Bannaford.

Doctor Anstratton became suddenly calm, dangerously quiet. He stood in
front of Rufus Bannaford.

"I intend only to do good," asserted the doctor. "But in order to
accomplish good, it is sometimes necessary to adopt queer expedients.
I have selected you gentlemen to be brought here. You will contribute
to our great cause, and you will go away and say nothing about it.
Otherwise, one by one, you will lose your minds."

"Nuts!" sneered Rufus Bannaford. "This is a modern century and you're
within ten miles of a State police patrol!"

Doctor Anstratton stepped back. He cracked his bony hands together.
Three men appeared.

"Treatment!" snapped Doctor Anstratton. "Lightly!"

Rufus Bannaford was seized. Some lesser anaesthetic was applied to his
nostrils. In a few seconds, his eyes closed.

Doctor Anstratton walked over. He rubbed his hands gently across Rufus
Bannaford's forehead. He touched each of his closed eyes. Then he
produced a bottle of aromatic spirits.

"Well, that's over!" sneered Bannaford. "You won't get a dime of my
money to carry on your nutty schemes!"

A heavy voice spoke. This was not that of Doctor Anstratton. It came
from the vicinity of the immense telescope in the observatory.

"That which you have heard is true! I have seen Doc Savage die. We
have greater power than even he possessed! Now you are entering
another world; you are surrounded by incredible monsters--"



RUFUS BANNAFORD strained forward in the stone chair. His muscles
strained. The locks holding him in the chair were suddenly released.

Doctor Anstratton chuckled evilly.

Rufus Bannaford uttered a profane shout. He struck out violently with
his fists.

"It isn't true!" he yelled. "There are no such things! There--take it
away from my head! Take it away, you fiend! I won't give you a cent of
my money! Look out, doctor!"

"Why, I see nothing," stated Doctor Anstratton mildly.

"You lie! You lie!" screamed Bannaford. "That one's got a thousand
heads! Look! Look at the arms! They're strangling me."

Rufus Bannaford sprang back. He fell over the stone chair. He was up
again. His swinging fist hit one of the other prisoners.

"For Heaven's sake, Doctor Anstratton!" said this man. "It's all a
trick! Stop it! Bannaford! There is nothing here!"

"There are more coming--more!" screamed Rufus Bannaford. He ran,
smashing into a wall. His fingers locked with some invisible creature
which must have seemed to him to have been flying about in the air.

Rufus Bannaford struck the floor, still wrestling with the monsters
that apparently were visible only to him.

The Voice from near the telescope spoke.

"Notice that no one is near this madman; no one approaches. No one
touches him--"

Rufus Bannaford sat up. He caught the queer expressions of the other
men. Bannaford was no longer scornful.

"They're gone," said Bannaford slowly. "I don't know where. Yet I
believe they are still there waiting for me."

"Your friends think you were hypnotized," suggested Doctor Anstratton.

"No, no, no!" shouted Bannaford. "I saw them! Some were like snakes
with many heads! They were all around me! I was not hypnotized! It's
all some devilish trick--and I won't give a penny toward this man's--"

The invisible Voice spoke again.

"You have committed yourself to madness from which you never will
recover! They have come upon you again--"

Doctor Anstratton was not even looking at Bannaford. He was gazing at
the others with a triumphant expression.

Rufus Bannaford leaped straight up. He was clad only in a flowing
nightshirt. This he attempted to tear off, as if it were choking him.

Perhaps it was Doctor Anstratton's command which opened a low door.
Rufus Bannaford dashed through it.

Several men pursued him. In a few minutes, they returned. There was a
hurried conference with Doctor Anstratton. The Voice spoke.

"Doc Savage's men! At last we have them! Bring them down--"



THIS Jonas Hydebottom was thoroughly a tough customer. There was no
doubt but that Rufus Bannaford had died. His final wailing shriek had
been heard.

"He saw nothing but monsters," announced Doctor Anstratton quite
calmly. "Gentlemen, you have your choice. Madness or a few millions.
You shall be reimbursed for what you invest. I can boast of one
invention greater than Doc Savage ever owned. It is one by which many
tons of his most valuable equipment have been spirited away."

"You damn killer!" rapped Jonas Hydebottom. "You have nothing but a
misshapen body and a crooked mind! I'll see you in hell before I give
you a dime!"

Doctor Anstratton's dark eyes glowed with hatred. He waited for no
assistance. He himself applied a light anaesthetic.

Doctor Anstratton brought Jonas Hydebottom back to consciousness by
roughly slapping the millionaire's cheeks.

"Now look at them!" rasped the doctor. "So I'm deformed, am I? In the
next few years of your life you'll wish you were dead!"

Jonas Hydebottom was not freed from his stone chair. He became like
some man bound to a stake with burning coals applied to his body. He
writhed and twisted and screamed.

Doctor Anstratton walked over. The Voice spoke.

"Now we shall see!"

Jonas Hydebottom seemed to have recovered his sanity. But the other
three men eyed him suspiciously.

"I was not hypnotized," stated Jonas Hydebottom. "I saw some of the
most horrible creatures! And your ears became as big as houses. No, I
am entirely sane."

Plainly the other three men did not believe Jonas Hydebottom.

The Voice said, "It will require only a few millions--millions which
will be returned. Doctor Anstratton has told you we have one invention
alone that is worth more than all your millions, it has been used to
destroy Doc Savage and his power; we cannot market it yet, but soon
all your money will be returned! Take your choice: You can aid us or
follow Bannaford--or leave here with millions of monsters in your
minds!"

"Yes! Yes!" shouted one of the other men. "Let us all go! You can have
what you ask--only Jonas must be released and--"

The doors of the Cragrock Sanitarium were constructed of wood. They
were of the strongest oak.

The chuckling pleasure of Doctor Anstratton was lost. The threat
uttered by the invisible Voice died away. It seemed that nothing less
than an earthquake could have broken down the solid oak of the door
leading toward the observatory telescope.

Three or four men shouted oaths. The great oaken door burst as if it
had been hit by a battering ram. This was no less than a huge,
knuckled fist.

The door cracked and sagged on its hinges.

The first of the Cragrock guards who came in was a huge man. He was
big and tough. But he came in on his back. His lower jaw was cocked at
a queer angle. It had been dislocated.

The second guard might have said something, but he was too busy
holding his stomach.

A portion of the oak-door panel hung around the wrist of one great
fist.

Doc Savage had smashed the door and the guards. He stood erect on
massive legs. His face was melancholy. Those who knew Renny, the
engineer, would have said this was one of the moments when he was
enjoying himself immensely.

All that now seemed to trouble the big man was the lack of another jaw
or two to crack.



JONAS HYDEBOTTOM thought he was looking at Renny.

"Colonel John Renwick!" he shouted. "So Doc Savage is dead, huh? I
knew there was a catch to this somewhere! Get us loose, Colonel
Renwick!"

Doctor Anstratton snarled like a wild beast. His bony knuckles
twisted, and his deformed shoulder jumped.

"Doc Savage is dead!" he yelled. "None of his men can do anything to
stop us! I'll--"

Doctor Anstratton was quick. He darted toward one wall. It was clear
he intended plunging the room into darkness.

A piece of oaken panel fell from the bronze man's fist. None could
have followed the motion of his hands. Doctor Anstratton was suddenly
stricken motionless.

The deformed doctor stopped as suddenly as if a bullet had furrowed
his warped brain. Only one of Doc Savage's thumbs had touched the
doctor. That touch was close to the shoulder, the one which hunched
upward.

Doctor Anstratton fell to his knees, squawling. "Stop him! He'll kill
all of us! Stop--"

The giant gave no more heed to Doctor Anstratton.

"We will end this here and now!" boomed the man of bronze. "It seems I
arrived just in time! One other man has died!"

But Doc did not move toward the prisoners in the chairs of soft stone.
From the vicinity of the telescope, the Voice spoke.

This Voice sounded much like that of Doc Savage himself. It was not
raised. Yet its lowest tone penetrated to every ear in the room.

"Stand where you are," commanded the Voice quietly. "You can do
nothing. If you make a further motion against my will, all of the men
before you shall die instantly. Others will be easy to find to take
their places."

Doc released his hold on Doctor Anstratton. The doctor slumped to the
floor. Doc was watching the four prisoners in the stone chairs. His
own hands were close to various devices which might have been
effective under ordinary circumstances.

But behind each chair appeared the wicked, blue muzzle of a machine
gun. The cold steel of each of these touched a man's neck.

"For grief’s sake, Colonel Renwick, stand still!" gasped Jonas
Hydebottom.

Doc's big hands dropped. A dozen men seized his arms, but he made no
resistance. Doctor Anstratton laughed in a high, cackling tone.



Chapter XV. TRAIN IN THE NIGHT

SOMETHING about that abandoned quarry gave it more than average
eeriness. Thunder rumbled above the thousand-foot wall.

"Daggonit!" complained Monk. "I've got only one wish! I'd like to have
Inspector Higgins out here! Maybe he could find a truck or something
to chase!"

Jane Davidson was stumbling along with the others. All the bottom of
the quarry was a maze of rusted rails. Many tracks had been
constructed to remove the valuable granite.

The weird, blue illumination of the lightning showed a track leading
directly toward a granite wall.

"I judge we are promenading in an erroneous direction," advised
Johnny. "If we are to get out, we should be working away from the
wall."

Jane Davidson squealed. That competent young woman seldom let herself
go. But she sobbed loudly, and started running. She was stopped by a
sump hole.

Sump holes in quarries are filled with water. Monk pulled her out.

"Oh, I saw him!" gasped the girl. She pointed. "Right there by the
wall!"

All followed the extended finger and saw the huddled shape lying in
one corner.

Rufus Bannaford had fallen a thousand feet.

He was a gruesome spectacle for even the cool Jane Davidson. The girl
had had a number of horrible experiences. She sat down beside the body
and shivered.

Rufus Bannaford's head had somehow escaped being crushed.

It seemed Jane Davidson was not quite herself. She was holding the
dead man's head in her arms.

"Good grief!" exclaimed Ham. "Maybe she knew him! She's acting like
she thought a lot of him!"

Johnny was saying nothing. The scholarly geologist was looking
intently at the girl. He had the thin pencil beam of a flashlight
touching her face. Tears squeezed from Jane Davidson's eyes.

The girl rubbed her hand over the dead man's forehead.

Suddenly Jane Davidson screamed. Crying, she stumbled along the track
toward the granite wall.

All were on one of the rusted tracks. Johnny halted suddenly.

"Look out, Miss Davidson!" he called out. "Get to one side!"

Johnny sent Long Tom flying into the bushes with his elbow.

"Monk!" he shouted. "Get off that track! Stay off!"

From the rusted rails came a low, steady humming.

"Maybe it's an airplane," said Ham. "I'll bet Doc has got on our
trail."

"Sure, shyster," grunted Monk. "So he's using one of these tracks.
I'll--"



MONK did not complete his sentence. The thing that came out of the
rainy darkness had no form that could be detected. It was like the
passing of a cyclonic wind.

Jane Davidson and the others were thrown on their faces.

The thunder whooped suddenly. A brilliant glare of lightning split the
black canopy above the old quarry.

"My good gosh!" gasped Long Tom. "I saw that quarry wall break wide
open! And what was that thing went by?"

"After the things I saw in Central Park," declared Ham, "I don't
believe anything went by."

Johnny was a little slower to venture an opinion.

"Something passed us at incredible speed," he asserted. "It was
running on that old track. And it was going right toward the wall of
the quarry!"

Johnny ran a light along the rusted rails. He grunted when he proved
the inner edge of one rail had been worn and polished. Still it seemed
impossible anything could have been operated over the old, weed-grown
track.

There was no further evidence of the monstrous object that had hurtled
by them in the darkness. Long Tom slipped away from the others. In a
few minutes he returned.

"One thing we won't have to worry about," he remarked, "is patching up
the gyroplane. Apparently it has departed."

"You mean," gulped Monk, "Doc's gyroplane ain't there?"

"Right," said Long Tom, "and not even a mark where it might have
been."

"Come on, brothers," invited Johnny. "We'll have a look at that
granite wall. You all right, Miss Davidson?"

"I'm as all right as any one could be after what's happened," stated
Jane Davidson. "I don't expect to get out of here alive, so I've quit
worrying about it."

Johnny walked close to the young woman. He spoke shortly.

"By the way, Miss Davidson. What was it you took off Rufus Bannaford's
body?"

Jane Davidson drew herself to the full height of her plump body. One
hand slapped Johnny unexpectedly across a bony cheek.

"What do you mean by an insulting question like that?" she blazed.

Johnny made no movement. He did not appear to be in the least angry.

"I meant," he repeated, "to inquire what you took off Rufus
Bannaford's body. Of course, if he's an old sweetheart or something,
it's none of my business."

"Well, if you must know," snapped Jane Davidson, "it was this!"

The young woman produced a small photograph in a pocket frame. It was
a good likeness of Jane Davidson.

"All of us make mistakes," said Johnny quietly. "I'm sorry if he was a
friend of yours."



THE rusted track ended abruptly against the wall of solid gray
granite. Nothing less than dynamite could have made an opening where
the last of the rails touched the flinty rock.

"Just as well make up our mind we're like Ham and the rest of them,"
said Long Tom. "We've been seeing things. Nothing went by us back
there. We just imagined it."

The freakish lightning failed to reveal any crack or break in the
thousand feet of granite wall.



Chapter XVI. UNDER THE MOUNTAIN

SOME monstrous thing must have whipped along the old quarry track,
even if it did appear that it had vanished into a solid wall of
granite. For, ten miles from the Cragrock quarry, traffic had been
badly disrupted on the North-and-South railroad.

A station agent had seen or imagined a ghostly train passing at
terrific speed in the night. He had attempted to warn other trains,
but somewhere between stations the illusive monster had disappeared.

This had been but a few minutes before the rushing demon had seemed to
pass through the quarry pit. The station agent had been accused of
"seeing things." He had been discharged. For the train he had reported
seeing had apparently vanished into thin air.

There was not a connected switch track where it might have been
shunted off. The rails leading to Cragrock quarry had long been
disconnected from the main North-and-South railroad lines.

Yet it was in that vicinity the speeding monster had disappeared.

And about the time the railroad men were muttering over the mystery,
Doc Savage's companions and Jane Davidson were listening to the same
wind whining over the lip of Cragrock quarry a thousand feet above
them. After she had confessed knowing Rufus Bannaford, Jane Davidson
had been very quiet.

"I think," she said finally, "the best thing we can do is try and
follow the old switch track out of here. You may feel all right about
whatever crazy thing Doc Savage is doing, but I don't want to run into
him again."

It was difficult to hear anything over the roaring of the storm. But
Johnny's ears were keen.

"Some one's using our gyroplane, or there's another plane cruising
around overhead," he announced. "No, it isn't our plane. This one has
twin motors."

"I believe that's one of the new police special jobs," stated Long
Tom. "Look! He is trying out the searchlight. He won't see much down
in this soup."

"I knew it!" yelped Monk. "I'll betcha that fellow Higgins is right on
our tail!"

Monk moved closer to Ham.

"Dang it, Ham," he muttered. "Maybe there's somethin' haywire about
that dame wantin' us to come out here. I don't like that woman!"

Johnny made an announcement.

"Brothers, there is no evidence we saw or heard anything on the switch
track a little while ago. But there has been something on these rails
that wore the inner edges clear of rust."

"That makes your explanation perfect," drawled Ham. "And I suppose
whatever it was went right through that solid wall of granite?"

They stumbled back along the track for perhaps a hundred yards. Long
Tom was leading. With a yell, he jumped back. He caught Johnny and
pushed the others to the ground.

"Look out!" he shouted. "We're running into something!"



THIS something was a weird, snakelike line of fire. It seemed to come
from nowhere. But it crackled in a wavering thread a few feet above
the ground.

"High frequency!" pronounced Long Tom. "If we'd walked into that on
this wet ground, all of us would have been electrocuted! Brothers, it
doesn't seem intended we are to leave this place!"

The line of strange fire became a wide noose of flame. This was slowly
being drawn together.

"I'm going to duck under the thing!" exploded Monk. "It's driving us
back to that crazy wall!"

Before the others could interfere, the apelike chemist had made a dive
from his short legs.

The line dipped directly toward the spot where Monk was starting to
roll under it. Ham yelled and plunged forward. He caught Monk's
ankles.

Both men splashed into one of the sump holes.

None made another attempt to cross the electrical noose. The crackling
fire line was much like that employed by Doc Savage to guard the doors
of his headquarters.

"You know," stated Johnny, "we have been making chumps of ourselves.
We might as well walk right up to that granite wall and say, 'here we
are!'"

"You mean, we have been watched all the time?" said Long Tom. "I have
been suspecting that for some time. Apparently we are not the only
persons who have discovered the use of waves too short to be visible
to the human eye."

"The more we get into this thing," declared Jane Davidson, "the more
it is being proved Doc Savage is making monkeys out of us all."

Directly overhead, perhaps a thousand feet above the edge of the
granite quarry wall, the sky was suddenly split by a sharp detonation.

Though they were being backed slowly toward the granite wall by the
noose of electrical fire, all had been keeping an eye on the darting
beam of the plane circling above Cragrock.

Apparently the presence of the plane, if it were a police special, had
not been overlooked by the habitants of Doctor Anstratton's
sanitarium. And now it looked as if methods had been employed to
remove it from its post of observation.

"Good grief!" exclaimed Long Tom. "They must have used a ray that
ignited the tanks! I hope it isn't that fellow Higgins! He was such a
darn nuisance. I got so I kinda liked him!"



EVEN the encroaching electrical fire was forgotten as the twin-motored
plane burst into flame two thousand feet above the old quarry.

The long fuselage plunged toward the dome of Cragrock. It was like a
falling rocket. Johnny and the others had no doubt but that it was the
flaming coffin for at least two men.

Johnny caused all the party to move faster toward the thousand-foot
wall of granite. The deadly line of the high frequency current had
been speeded up.

Now all were crowded into only a few yards of space between the
electrical loop and the face of the tall cliff.

"Daggonit!" yelled Monk. "Come on out an' fight!"

The ugly chemist had produced his superfiring pistol. He brandished
the awkward-looking weapon around in search of an enemy. None
appeared.

"Probably this will be the finish," announced Johnny.

From the wall itself came a light. Though Monk whipped around with his
superfirer, and Ham slapped his sword blade into one hand, the light
seemed to have no particular point of origin.

It seemed for a few moments as if the whole face of the huge granite
wall had become a flat, cold flame.

"Howlin' calamities!" squealed Monk. "I'll bet that dame knew all the
time what she was runnin' us into!"

Though her dress was muddy and wet and clung to her plump figure, and
her black hair was stringing around her face, Jane Davidson somehow
managed to look calm.

"If you weren't such a dumb, ugly ape, I might pay some attention to
you," said Jane Davidson calmly.

From the granite wall now came a Voice. This was so remarkable in its
tone, that Ham exclaimed.

"Good gravy! It's Doc! It couldn't be any one else!"

The others stared at the wall. They tried in vain to fix the location
of the Voice.

"Stand where you are! Make no resistance and you will not be harmed."
said the Voice coolly. "You are mistaken in thinking you might escape
or injure any one by fighting. When the walls open, you will walk in."

The granite cliff split silently. It was like the slow movement of a
theater curtain. A score or more men came walking out.



THESE men seemed to wear only ordinary clothing. Under the queer light
from the cliff their faces had a bluish appearance.

"I ain't goin' in there!" shouted Monk.

He raised the superfiring machine pistol. The weapon whined like a
swarm of bees. Its bullets streamed into the line of slowly walking
men.

Johnny and Long Tom joined with their own superfirers. Johnny selected
a couple of small glasslike globes and tossed them at the feet of the
oncoming men.

The men from under the mountain were immune to the anaesthetic
capsules.

The score of men continued walking as if they were animated by some
sort of machinery.

"Your mercy bullets are worthless."
suddenly announced the Voice from the wall. "Doc Savage is dead.
Another, greater than Doc Savage has taken his place."

"It's a lie!" shouted Monk. "Doc Savage is right--"

The ugly chemist did not complete his sentence. Johnny had been
looking up at the granite wall beside the opening. He hoped there
might be some means of ascent where they could make a stand.

No crevasse appeared. But high on the wall a few stunted trees stuck
out.

"Well, I'll be superamalgamated!" exclaimed Johnny. "It's Renny! He
didn't get onto Cragrock! He's been hanging up there all the time!"

Monk sprang close to Johnny. One of his big furry hands fastened on
Johnny's arm.

"Daggonit! Keep your mouth shut!" yelped the chemist.

For Monk had instantly realized this was Renny himself clinging to the
wall above with Inspector Higgins. No doubt, Higgins had picked up the
big engineer after Doc Savage had taken Renny's place.

Monk could foresee complications. He knew that the man of bronze, made
up as Renny, must be somewhere on Cragrock. He could not have been in
the wrecked plane with Higgins. Now there would soon be two Rennys in
the picture.

Johnny saw something that took his breath. In the branches above him
appeared the torn remnants of a parachute.

"Good gravy!" spilled Ham. "I ain't so sure I'm not seeing things
again! That looks like Inspector Higgins! And he and Renny are both
hangin' to the same parachute! Say! How could Renny--"

Monk's furry hand closed over Ham's thin face.

"Start fightin', shyster, an' don't do no more lookin' up!" muttered
Monk. "Them other guys from under the mountain ain't seen that 'chute!
Let's rush 'em before they spot it!"

The men coming from under the granite wall had not spotted the
parachute caught in the small trees. They were still under the
overhang of the cliff. In addition to that, they were facing the
renewed whooping of superfiring pistols.

"Come on!" shouted Monk. "We'll show 'em!"

His short legs carried him valiantly into the lead. Ham was close
beside the chemist. The men from under the mountain did not fall.



JOHNNY and Long Tom fell down. It was strange. None of the men from
under the mountain had apparently fired a weapon. But each now held a
short black rod. As two of these rods were pointed at Johnny and Long
Tom, they collapsed.

Jane Davidson ran forward. Monk, grabbed Ham and pulled him down
behind a broken piece of granite.

"I'll bet we're up against some new kind of paralyzing ray," said
Monk.

Jane Davidson cried out. She had whipped up one white hand. One of the
short black rods merely pointed toward her. The plump young woman
slumped to the ground.

"Listen, Monk, they're going to get us," said Ham. "I guess I've been
half nuts ever since I saw those things in Central Park, but I'm not
the only one who saw Renny up there in that parachute with a fellow
that looked like Higgins. How in thunder did he get there?"

Monk was looking up the wall. Renny and the man who had looked like
Higgins had disappeared. A fragment of the parachute fluttered in the
rainy wind. Monk saw that Renny and Higgins must have crawled to some
safer spot. At least, they had escaped detection. For the present, the
hairy chemist had decided to keep to himself the secret that Doc was
disguised as Renny. But it was Renny himself with the police
inspector.

Four men came slowly around the granite slab. Each held a short rod.
Ham sprang to his feet. His sword blade played like a flash of light.

"Get 'em, Monk!" he shouted. "Shoot for their faces!"

Monk did not shoot. The apelike chemist made a croaking noise in his
throat. One of the men pointing a short black rod merely smiled. It
might have been seen that the rod was attached to a thin wire.

Ham's sword was aimed at one of their attackers' throats. The blade
halted in mid-air. It fell from the lawyer's hand and banged on the
granite.

High on the wall, Police Inspector Higgins and his companion saw
Johnny and the others carried from view. The great wall of the old
granite quarry closed silently.



Chapter XVII. CAVERN OF MONSTERS

THIS place under the mountain was much like a cathedral. Its roof was
supported by huge columns. Some of the rooms were of fantastic shape.

One of these rooms might have been some place for lepers. There was
one, low-arched entrance which all the workmen avoided.

All the men except one. This man was the queerly deformed Doctor
Anstratton. When he hunched his way through the archway into the
shunned room, he wore a large mask.

And as he entered, Doctor Anstratton dropped a curtain behind him.
Though this curtain was no more than gauze, it was the only protection
the others had from grisly horrors.

Doctor Anstratton stood before this curtain. His mask had a long
protuberance. He was rubbing his bony knuckles.

"At last--at last!" he chuckled. "The last of Doc Savage's famous
group is in our power! Soon we shall begin the conquest of the
invisible! The stubborn ones shall die! The little beasts which none
can see shall destroy the last vestige of them!"

Doctor Anstratton lifted the gauze curtain. As he did this, a dozen or
more men working near by turned their faces and hurried away.

The Voice that seemed to direct all of the affairs of Cragrock spoke.

"Make sure, my good doctor, that they shall only be paralyzed."
it stated. "We shall be greater by restoring the living who have been
partly dead than by saving those who never have suffered."

Doctor Anstratton replied with his high, cackling laugh.

"Restore these, indeed?" he sneered. "To be sure, we must see what can
be done. But they must never leave this place."

If it were possible for human animals to be converted into merely
eyes, with voiceless tongues and inert muscles, the dozen men inside
the room of the gauze curtain might be described.

These men neither sat, nor stood; nor were they lying down. They were
but bundles of motionless bones and flesh. They wore only rags of
clothes. Some mouths were open and tongues stuck out.

But there was not a quiver of a muscle. Yet it could be felt these men
were cursing Doctor Anstratton with all of the venom which could be
expressed by human eyes.

For all these men seemed to be was a dozen pairs of human eyes. None
of these eyes were dull. None indicated stupid brains.

The eyes moved. Only the eyes. They followed the doctor's figure.
There was cold murder in each pair of eyes. Intelligent, premeditated
murder. No doubt, Doctor Anstratton could feel this.

It must have pleased the scientist's warped brain. Under his grotesque
mask, he chuckled.

"I hope you will all eat like gentlemen to-day," he cackled. "Perhaps
then we shall have the show and you shall see the little fellows of
this new world in which you live. You may watch them swarming over
you. Ah, that will be your treat for to-day."

Carrying an oversized syringe, Doctor Anstratton approached a queer-
shaped glass jar in a row of such jars.

All these jars seemed to contain what might have been green, stagnant
water. The syringe which Doctor Anstratton carried was of the type
used to spray plants. It had a wide rubber nozzle.

The Voice spoke from somewhere.

"Are you ready, doctor?"

"Ha! Ha! Ha!" chuckled the doctor. "Let us have the globes turned on!"

Doctor Anstratton was peering through the smoky glass eyes of his
awkward mask. He was looking into the jar of green water.

From the outer room came first a low humming. Generators were turning.

Suddenly it seemed as if some force had opened the top of the
mountain. Crackling light played throughout the interior caverns of
Cragrock.

"Ah, my little pets!" chuckled Doctor Anstratton. "Now I can see you!
And you will help remake the world to our liking!"

The deformed doctor's voice was almost a scream. The doctor was
dipping the nose of the syringe in the jar of green water.

The Voice spoke clearly.

"Those conduits are perfect, doctor."
it said, with satisfaction. "Without their resistance, the incoming
voltage would melt everything in sight. Now the globes are really
working."

Though it was apparent that electrical energy was being drawn from the
sky down into the caverns of Cragrock, the fearful hissing and
snapping of the harnessed lightning was not sufficient to drown out
the terrible screaming of human voices.

These voices came from the larger room outside that in which Doctor
Anstratton stood.

Maddened men. One might have thought the incoming lightning was being
employed to sear their flesh. Yet the men who screamed did not appear
to be touched by fire or any other torture.



THESE men were fastened in a long row to one side of a great, vaulted
room.

Some of the men screamed profanely. Their arms and legs were securely
held in what resembled wooden stocks.

Each man sat with his head, his arms and his legs thrust through holes
in the wood. These were locked together with iron hasps.

Of nearly a dozen men thus held, all but two were giving vent to their
suffering, each in his own way.

"Let me die! I'll give you all my millions! No! No! I won't go mad!
I'll help you to power!"

That voice was none other than that of the strong-nerved Jonas
Hydebottom. The aging millionaire was nothing now but a twisting gray
head, which seemed to be trying to make a rag of its neck in order to
shield the eyes from whatever horror they were seeing.

"There ain't no such daggoned animals! I ain't seein' 'em I won't look
at 'em!"

This came from the well-known Monk. His ugly head looked more
grotesque than the others.

"Daggonit, Ham!" squealed Monk again. "You're doing this to me! When I
get out of here, I'm going to feed you to Habeas Corpus! Zowee! That
thing's got a million eyes!"

Ham's head also stuck up. Ham was keeping better control.

"My only regret is that I'm so busy seeing other things I can't
observe how funny you must look right now!" rapped Ham.

Jonas Hydebottom was getting to be an old man. Perhaps that was why
his nerve had broken all at once. Three other men rated as
multimillionaires in the blue book, were joining him with their cries
of terror.

They were offering any price to be freed of what they believed to be
madness.

Because the air all about them was filled with bloated, horrible
creatures, the row of imprisoned men had lost their view of this
remarkable cavern of Cragrock.

Two prisoners, one at each end of the row, had been taking the torture
with tight lips. One of these was Doc Savage himself in his assumed
role of Renny, the giant engineer. His huge figure had already been
locked in a set of the wooden stocks when his companions had been
brought in.

Apparently from the moment he had been overpowered in the observatory
of Cragrock dome, Doc had thus been held captive. And during all of
that time, the bronze man had seemed to be half stunned, hardly
understanding what was passing before him.



DOC had been strongly doped after his capture. Doctor Anstratton and
that commanding Voice clearly did not underestimate Doc Savage's
group. Each of the five was in himself a power to be feared.

The skeletonlike skull of Johnny gave no evidence this smart geologist
and archaeologist was "seeing things." In the few minutes before the
crackling of the lightning had seemed to create a new world of
monsters, Johnny had made an intensive study of the quartz formation
of the mountain's interior. Even in a moment of greatest danger, the
scholarly Johnny was classifying the strata for future reference.

Long Tom had screamed with the others at first. Now he became the
third one of the row to recover himself somewhat.

When first brought into the Cragrock caverns, all the prisoners had
been unconscious for a short time. Then they had found themselves held
in the stocks.

Long Tom had got his view of two great copper balls set close together
upon a strange foundation. His electrician's eye had discovered their
complicated hook-up with several generators.

But it had not been the generators and the copper balls which had
puzzled Long Tom. From these great globes extended what might have
been brightly polished cables. These passed upward and extended into
the dome of soft rock overhead.

Long Tom instantly suspected these were the new alloy conduits which
had been so mysteriously stolen from the Twentieth Century Metal Alloy
plant. Their attachment to the copper globes proved they must have
been some of the equipment Doc Savage had been using in some strange
experiment. Long Tom and Johnny discovered that attempting to close
their eyes did not discourage the flying horrors. In fact, it seemed
impossible to close their eyelids.



BUT it was the scholarly Johnny whose mind remained the clearest. The
great, vaulted room now appeared to be filled with thousands of
varieties of beasts.

Johnny talked suddenly. Now there were some two score men besides the
prisoners in the strange room. Perhaps more. And they were at this
time engaged in an occupation which indicated preparation was being
made by their bosses for possible departure from Cragrock.

None of these men could hear Johnny speak. Even if they had heard
Johnny's words, they would not have understood. Johnny was employing
the language of the ancient Mayans.

Johnny spoke quietly.

"Long Tom, I am beginning to get the answer," he stated. "We see a
great many apparent monsters of which I have no knowledge. But at
least I am familiar with many of the amoeba. I know that thing which
looks like a monstrous anteater is nothing but a rotifer. I know those
things with the sucker mouths and those with flagellums which look
like tentacles."

"Good gosh!" exploded Long Tom, or the equivalent words in ancient
Mayan.

"I haven't time to explain," stated Johnny. "But pass the word along
to Ham and Monk. You can't get it to Renny, because they've got him up
at the other end of the line."

"Say!" suddenly exclaimed Long Tom. "How do you suppose they caught
Renny after we saw him hanging on the granite wall? And what happened
to that nosey inspector, Higgins? That copper must have got away!"

"There is something decidedly fishy about the whole business,"
declared Johnny. "I don't see how they could have got Renny in here
ahead of us, but he was here. And I saw him distinctly hanging with
Higgins on that parachute."

Johnny may have had some of the answer to the world of hideous
monsters, but his knowledge did not extend inside the room where
Doctor Anstratton had finished filling the syringe with the long
rubber nozzle.



Chapter XVIII. MEN WHO LIVED AGAIN

JOHNNY had succeeded in turning terror of the floating monsters into
another problem. Now he had Long Tom, Ham and Monk talking with him in
Mayan.

They attempted to communicate with the drooping figure of Renny. The
bogus Renny, who was really Doc Savage. But the big engineer seemed
sunk in a stupor.

Johnny said, "Perhaps they have done something to Renny that he
doesn't see these things."

In this, Johnny was greatly mistaken. More than the others, Doc Savage
in the end stocks was seeing all that was transpiring. Though horrible
monsters seemed to float about him, he still was watching the
operation of the immense copper globes.

Serpents of blue fire darted between these balls of copper. At the
upper end of each globe was attached the cablelike conduit. The heat
being conducted along these cables must have been terrific.

Only two places in the world had ever attempted to reproduce the
equivalent of a single lightning bolt. One of these was in New York
State. The other was in Switzerland. In each case, no more than ten
millions of volts had ever been harnessed.

More electrical current than this was now entering the queer soft rock
caverns of Cragrock.

Perhaps only Doc Savage fully understood what was happening. The
little understood electricity was raising electronic energy to one of
its greatest degrees.

Possibly the slightly studied force of atomic power was being released
in minute quantities. Of the seven known scientific periods of atomic
energy, there was now being reproduced what might have been the atom
of the third period, or what scientists had termed sodium.

Doc Savage himself had been the inventor of those great copper globes
and their conduit connections. But the Voice had announced Doc Savage
was dead.

Dead with the starving rats in an underground cellar along the East
River.



INSIDE the smaller cavern behind the gauze curtain, Doctor Anstratton
had filled his syringe with the soft rubber nozzle. The doctor
approached the first of the piles of bones and flesh.

The eyes of this inert man were intensely blue. They retained
intelligence. They sparkled with hate. Murder was in the pupils. But
the paralyzed man was helpless.

"This morning we make the test."
spoke the mysterious Voice.

It was strangely like the voice of Doc Savage. Doctor Anstratton
chuckled and cracked his knuckles. He thrust the rubber nozzle of the
syringe into the mouth of the nearest man. The blue eyes looked at the
doctor with murder.

"Observe!" said Doctor Anstratton. "You will see a miracle!"

The water had squirted into the inert man's mouth. The deformed doctor
hobbled swiftly past the others. Before each one, he paused. He rubbed
bony hands caressingly across their foreheads.

Now it was apparent these other men were seeing what had happened to
the first. The eyes of each of these paralyzed men became stricken
with horror.

"You can't speak!" shouted Doctor Anstratton. "I know what you are
seeing! Great boring creatures are coming from your companion's skin!
They are being chased out by those other wide-mouthed monsters with
the long, hairy feelers! Soon all of the borers will be gone!"

The eleven motionless men were watching their companion. It was true
that hideous creatures of one form apparently were being driven out
and devoured by other equally hideous monsters.

"Millions never will see these things!" shouted Doctor Anstratton.
"But they will be there! Whole cities will become paralyzed! Whole
cities will be healed and made well again! The world will hail a new
Doc Savage! This one will have more power! What the bronze scientist
planned to apply to heal many ills will now be employed to bring
greater communities under control of the new Doc Savage!"

There is no doubt but that Doctor Anstratton was crazy. Even the man
of the mysterious Voice must have known that. Perhaps he was merely
using the extensive knowledge of the warped scientist for his own
purposes.

"It is time to quit speaking."
said the Voice quite clearly. "Soon we must prepare to remove all to a
distant spot. Too many have come too close to Cragrock. Prove, my good
doctor, your latest theory will work."

Doctor Anstratton dropped the rubber syringe. He stepped back.

"It is proved!" he shouted.

One man was moving. He was the man into whose mouth the green water
had been injected. The man from whose skin the hideous boring
creatures had seemed to emerge, only to be devoured by the others.

The enemies of the boring monsters must have been in that jar of green
water. No doubt, the first creatures had come from another of those
same jars.



THE man who moved was a big fellow. His blue eyes snapped with sudden
light. He drew his arms and limbs into motion. His great muscles were
apparent, but he was moving as slowly as a tortoise crawling. His
mouth had closed. His tongue must have found speech.

Doctor Anstratton passed quickly before the other men. He rubbed his
hands across their foreheads. The horror left their eyes. Only now
they were watching their companion with amazement.

"I'll--get--I'll--I'll kill you!"

These were the first words from the slowly reviving man. Perhaps that
injection worked faster than Doctor Anstratton had intended. Suddenly,
the big fellow was on his feet. He was lurching toward the deformed
doctor.

The hands of the blue-eyed man clapped around Doctor Anstratton's
skinny throat. His recovery must have given him tremendous strength.
The deformed doctor clawed at the other man's face. Breath gurgled in
his throat.

"You have proved your case indeed."
stated the invisible Voice. "Preserve that which we have. These men
must be destroyed. The fall of the mountain will care for those few
fools who have believed Doc Savage invincible."

Doctor Anstratton was not throttled. From the direction of the Voice
shot a piercing, knifelike flame. This seemed to barely touch the bare
skin of the blue-eyed man's back.

"A-ar-agh!" gulped the man.

A round, red spot appeared over the man's spine. His hands fell from
Doctor Anstratton's neck.

The blue-eyed man stiffened and quivered. An electric bolt must have
disrupted his inner organs. His face immediately turned black. The
Voice did not speak again.

But as Doctor Anstratton struggled to his feet, oaths frothing from
his bony jaws, the knifelike, electrical current crossed the room.

Paralyzed men cannot struggle against the spasms of death. The eleven
men along the wall merely ceased to have murder in their eyes. They
lay quiet.

Whatever the purpose of the experiment Doctor Anstratton had
conducted, the Voice apparently had judged it better to murder a dozen
men than to have the secret pass from that gauze-curtained room.

Doctor Anstratton looked at the dead men. He turned back toward the
row of green jars. The gauze curtain lifted. There was a loud,
piercing scream.

This was the voice of a woman. Jane Davidson stood in the entrance to
the murder room. Her black eyes were round with horror. She was
looking at the dead men on the rock floor.

Doctor Anstratton merely waved the rubber-nosed syringe in her
direction.

"Get out!" he yelped. "You'll get yourself--"

What the doctor may have feared evidently affected the owner of the
Voice fully as much. From the near-by wall leaped a great figure. As
it came, the Voice spoke.

"Stop the globes! We are finished with these! Fool, do you want to
die?"

The owner of the voice had the build of a giant man. He wore a white
shirt, which bared his throat and smooth breast. His head was bare,
and his sleeves were stripped back to his elbows.

With sweeping strength, the man lifted the plump figure of Jane
Davidson. He glided past the door of the gauze curtain into the larger
outer room.

As he moved, the man must have done something to Jane Davidson's
nerves. For her screaming abruptly ceased. The woman lay in his arms
as limp as a child.

The man started across the big outside room with long, swinging
strides. Jane Davidson's long, black hair fell down. Her neck was like
a rag.

At the command of the Voice, the hissing and crackling of the globes
had ceased.

Now, all the row of prisoners in the wooden stocks could see clearly
what was taking place. For the floating monsters had suddenly
disappeared. Only Jonas Hydebottom, the aging millionaire, continued
to groan.

It might be that the older man's mind would remain affected for the
rest of his years.

It was the childlike voice of Monk which yelped first.

"That's him! He'll kill the dame! Stop him!"

"Good gravy!" rapped out Ham. "It's Doc! He's been in here all the
time!"

"Doc! Doc!" shouted Long Tom. "We're over here!"

Johnny said nothing. But like the others, he was staring at the bronze
giant crossing the big, vaulted room.

In the end stocks, the real Doc Savage had lifted his head. His hair
had fallen over the face that looked like Renny's. He looked as if he
had been put into a permanent stupor. Even the presence of the great
figure of bronze walking before him did not bring a response.

None had known what had become of Jane Davidson after they had been
seized. All had seen the young woman struck down with the electrical
weapon. After that, it seemed she had been spared imprisonment in the
stocks. For the time, none had been given reason to suspect where she
had been taken.

"Doc! Doc!" yelled Ham. "We're over here! Look out for those other
fellows! They've got some kind of ray that knocks you out!"

The bronze giant turned his head. Every feature marked him as the
long-absent Doc Savage. If this was the man who had hypnotized Jane
Davidson, the young woman indeed had good reason for accusing the
bronze adventurer.

Without moving his lips, the bronze man gave forth a faint, eerie
trilling. This was a mistake. Johnny spoke. He knew instantly that
trilling had a distinctly wrong note.

"That is the solution, and he is the Voice we have been hearing.
Brothers, it may be that Doc has perished. If that is true, then our
situation is most critical."

"Howlin' calamities!" exploded Monk. "Haven't you fellows--"

Monk did not complete his words. The bronze giant had apparently
hurled Jane Davidson roughly onto one of three strange vehicles which
stood to one side of the vaulted room.

The bronze giant spoke. His words might have been those of Doc Savage
himself.

"Bring the doctor and load the air cars," he said. "Cragrock is
charged for dissolution. We are ready to strike!"

"Good grief!" rapped out Ham. "You don't suppose all this stuff about
Doc being dead is true?"

"Daggonit!" yelped Monk. "Can't you see--"

From what had appeared to be a solid pillar in the middle of the
cavern vault boomed a deep voice.

"Holy cow, inspector! I told you Doc would be down here!"



ONE side of the rock pillar opened. The men in the stocks could see
that this was really something like a spiral slide. It must have come
into this lower room directly from the observatory above. It was much
like fire-escape apparatus.

To the amazement of Ham, Long Tom and Johnny, at least, a bulky figure
shot from this spiral. This was a great-fisted giant. The solemn face
of Renny appeared above the mammoth shoulders.

Across one cheek was a deep, red gouge. Apparently Renny had been in
some trouble. But whatever it had been, it was slight compared to what
he now faced.

Behind this amazing figure of Colonel John Renwick appeared the thin
face of Inspector Higgins. Even at a distance, the inspector's Adam's
apple was jumping.

"Well! Well! Well!" rapped Inspector Higgins. "So you're Doc Savage,
and we've caught up with you at last! Whatcha doin' with that woman?
Put up your hands! You're under arrest for--"

Inspector Higgins had whipped out a regulation Police Positive
revolver. He pointed this at the figure of the bronze man in the
middle of the room. The result was no less than astounding.

The big man of bronze did not move or issue an order. But two of the
many men working around the strange vehicles he had called the air
cars moved their hands slightly.

A pair of short black rods appeared. Inspector Higgins's pistol
exploded. But not in the manner he intended. It became a blazing lump
of blue flame.

The revolver jumped up in the air and fell to the rock floor.
Inspector Higgins stuck his hands straight out. He fell down and
rolled over.

"Well, I'll be superamalgamated!" exploded Johnny. "We have witnessed
the apparition of Doc Savage, and it has proved to be only a
hallucination! We have gazed upon microbes that have turned into
monsters! And now I am looking at two Rennys!"

If Johnny was surprised, the big bronze man seemed no less so. His
voice lost the calm tone he had been using.

"Grab that fellow!" he bellowed. "Something's been put over on us!"

The dull, solemn eyes of Doc Savage, imprisoned in the stocks, looked
rather vacantly at the bronze giant. But the newly arrived Renny
proved he was not in a stupor.

Several men jumped toward him. They were swinging the stubby black
rods. The big engineer had seen something. It was a connection from
which thin wires extended to those rods.

The hamlike fists smashed two ways at once. Before the ray could
render him powerless, big Renny had proved what a cyclone can
accomplish when it goes on the loose.

One of the engineer's feet smashed loose the connection of the
electrical rods. He did not seem to mind being now surrounded by as
many dancing, yelling men as could get close to him.



NOT in a long time had the giant engineer had so many targets for
those smashing fists. He seemed to have only one purpose: That was to
reach the big man who apparently had been impersonating Doc Savage.

"Holy cow!" boomed Renny. "You will go around lookin' like Doc!"

He swung a haymaker at the big bronze man, but another fellow tripped
him up and he fell to his knees. Perhaps half a dozen men made the
mistake of trying to make a football out of the big engineer.

"Howlin' calamities!" yelled Monk. "If I could only get into it!"

The others were feeling much the same. But for considerable time big
Renny appeared to need no assistance. He was putting up a perfect show
as a one-man wrecking crew.

Now the prisoners in the stocks were shouting encouragement.

"But it can't last long," groaned Long Tom. "If Renny only had waited.
Still, I'm dizzy over the whole thing. That's Renny out there trying
to smash the works, and that's Renny fastened up there in the stocks.
Say! Monk? You mean--"

Of the half a dozen men who had landed on Renny's broad back, at least
three would be of little use for a long time to come. Their skulls had
been permanently cracked.

The big bronze man had separated from the others. He had glided toward
one of the queer vehicles he had called air cars. He paused only to
stare strangely at the bogus Renny in the wooden stocks and at the
other man still playing billiards with his men.

At last the fake bronze man rapped out.

"We've been tricked, doctor! Give them the globes again! Doc Savage
lives!"

The generators hummed and the copper globes crackled. The fake bronze
man evidently had another idea up his sleeve.

"Black the lights!" he yelled. "Have the air cars ready! Hold
everything for the detonators!"

The line of prisoners in the stocks again were seeing monsters. But
Johnny's voice was steadying them. He was talking in Mayan.

"If you could get your hands to your eyes, it would cease," he stated.

The great, vaultlike cavern was plunged into darkness. The only light
now was the eerie, weird serpents crackling between the big copper
globes. Yet this faint illumination showed that which might not have
previously been observed.

Stranger vehicles never had been seen than the three, streamlined
affairs at one side of the underground room. They appeared to be
merely monstrous-pointed cars, without windows or without wheels.

As Renny somehow managed to free himself from the jam of the bronze
man's henchmen, a strange thing happened.



ONE of the windowless vehicles seemed to have no load. The bronze man
who had been enacting the role of Doc Savage rapped out an order. Five
or six of his men ran over to this single car.

"Good grief!" stated Ham. "I've got them things off my eyes! Look!
That car looks big as a railroad engine, but four men have picked it
up! They're turning it around! Say, the thing has a track underneath
that unwinds itself!"

Perhaps none but big Renny could see this. And for once Renny had used
rare judgment. Usually, the engineer would fight as long as his fists
could find a skull to smash. But this time Renny had eluded his
enemies.

In the faint blue light, the men under the mountain were cracking at
each other.

"Connect the paralysis ray!" commanded the voice of the fake bronze
man. "That will get him and the others! We must go with what we have
gained!"

The mountain men had trouble connecting the paralysis ray. This
trouble was unexpected.

Apparently Inspector Higgins had only been knocked out for a few
minutes.



Chapter XIX. END OF THE DOCTOR

INSPECTOR HIGGINS awoke in the midst of what he may have mistaken for
a riot. The worthy copper was slightly groggy. His groping hand found
his fallen revolver.

"I'll get Doc Savage yet!" yelled Inspector Higgins.

The policeman was a man with one idea. Now the greenish light from the
copper balls suddenly revealed the figure of a giant with bronzed
skin. This man was making an effort to have his men connect the rods
which carried the paralysis ray.

Inspector Higgins started shooting. The bronze man escaped. He leaped
suddenly onto the curious air car in which lay the limp form of Jane
Davidson.

Two or three men attempting to connect the rod wires were knocked down
by Inspector Higgins's bullets.

During this bedlam, a voice started speaking quietly. At the same
instant, the bronze man beside Jane Davidson on the air car heaved to
his feet. The greenish electrical glow gave his countenance a deathly
cast.

That voice was coming from his lips. It was issuing a command.

"Keep the copper globes alive!" said this voice. "Release the
prisoners in the stocks and drive them into the inner room!"

The men who had been attempting to get their paralysis ray rods in
action ceased this effort. A dozen men hastened to obey the command.
The bronze man on the air car, who apparently had given this order,
was clawing at his face.

"No! No! No!" he was screaming. "Take them away! They're tearing me to
pieces!"

In some manner the greater illumination of the cavern flashed on.

"Well, I'll be superamalgamated!" shouted Johnny. "Come on!"

All of the wooden stocks had been opened by a single lever. Monk, Ham,
Long Tom and the four millionaires stood free. But they did not seem
to know where to go into action.

The bronze man who had been taking the role of Doc Savage still stood
on the queer air car. He was still clawing at his face. His words were
meaningless screams.

The reason for this was quickly apparent.



THE real Renny, the big engineer who had been fighting it out with
overwhelming numbers in the middle of the room, had vanished.

The other Renny, Doc Savage, who had been locked in the stocks, was
standing motionless on his massive legs. From his skull the brownish
hair had been pulled away. Now there was revealed the smooth bronze
hair of Doc Savage himself.

For a few seconds, a weird trilling filled the great vault. It arose
above even the crackling and hissing of the copper globes and the
conduits. All of the men in the room seemed transfixed.

This was the unmistakable weird note of the real Doc Savage. The other
that had been heard several times did not now seem even a good
imitation.

Doc Savage moved his hands. The bronze skin showed. Metal flakes fell
from his eyes. They were now stirring whirlpools of gold. And these
eyes were fixed intently on that other bronze man on the air car.

Monk yelled, "I could've told alla you what would happen! Daggonit! I
knew all the time it was Doc who dropped from the gyroplane! Now we'll
clean 'em up!"

The bronze man on the air car spoke again in distinct words. He was
acting like a man in a nightmare. His hands moved as if he wanted to
stop his own words and couldn't.

This was the truth. This fake man of bronze couldn't stop those words.
Nor could he find speech of his own to inform his men that his crazy
commands were being uttered by another.

For it was the real Doc Savage talking. In that cavern, on the
crackling waves of the copper globes, it was possible to produce a
ventriloquial effect that had never before been attained. This was one
of the discoveries Doc Savage had made of the properties of the new
short-wave rays the globe conduits were bringing to earth.

The speech of the fake bronze man was completely paralyzed. In his
mouth were the words of Doc Savage.

And though he tried to avoid them, those flaky gold eyes of Doc Savage
were upon him with an intentness the remarkable adventurer seldom
employed.

For a few seconds, Doc Savage was able to hold this faker, his
imitator, under a hypnotic spell. The real man of bronze was using
these few seconds to the best advantage. For he had seen enough to
know that the slightest mistake now would mean the annihilation of his
companions, the four millionaires and himself.

Doc Savage had known all the time those wooden stocks had been wired
for instant electrocution of prisoners in an emergency. So his first
order through his helpless double was to free the captives.

Now he caused the writhing faker on the air car to issue another
command.

"Doctor Anstratton!" came from the twisting, helpless lips. "You will
destroy all of the jars of monsters! You will make them powerless to
do harm!"

On the rounded top of the air car where the fake bronze man stood, the
plump body of Jane Davidson moved. The girl's round white face was
raised. She sprang up suddenly. Her arms were locked around the big
man's waist.

At the instant the faker uttered the order to Doctor Anstratton, Jane
Davidson cried out, "It's Doc Savage! He killed Professor Spargrove!
He'll kill all of us! He wants to rule the world!"



THE feet of the bronze faker flew from under him. He fell beside Jane
Davidson. The young woman must have struck this boss of Cragrock with
some object she held in her hand. His big body stiffened and he lay
still across the air car.

But the eyes of all were pulled to the inner room of the gauze
curtain. From inside this room came a crashing and crackling of glass.
It seemed Doctor Anstratton was carrying out the order delivered by
the real Doc Savage through his double.

Those who had freed their eyes of the hideous monsters now were able
to observe more of this huge room in which they stood.

In many respects it was similar to the wonderful laboratory of Doc
Savage in Manhattan. The walls of soft rock were studded with
electrical devices. These included radio and television.

Apparently there had not been time to remove the big copper globes
from the strange air car on which they had been placed.

On another similar car was piled a great deal of the equipment that
had been stolen from Doc Savage's headquarters.

The third car was queerly camouflaged. While its streamlined
perfection was revealed, it had the appearance of a very old and very
common sort of railroad coach. It was painted like a carnival car.

Renny, the big engineer, now crouched close behind the big copper
globes, knew exactly where he had last seen this coach. It had been in
the railroad yards close to the Twentieth Century Metal Alloy Works
above Manhattan.

Now, when the devilish scheme of the fake Doc Savage and Doctor
Anstratton seemed about to be upset, Doc Savage and Renny had become
aware that the slightest mistake would mean death for everybody.

Doc Savage had caused that order to be given to Doctor Anstratton
merely to gain a few minutes of delay. He had learned that all of
Cragrock had been charged with a terrible high explosive. Some hidden
switch or lever would bring all of the thousands of tons of the rock
crashing down upon these hidden rooms.

For this reason, Doc Savage's copper globes, his other more important
devices and the best of the equipment of the fake Doc Savage and
Doctor Anstratton had been loaded on the three mysterious cars.

Doc Savage's liberated companions had clawed something from under
their eyelids. They stood awaiting an order to attack the two score
men attempting to get their paralysis rods into action. And in the few
seconds they waited, they heard the continued crashing of the glass
jars in the room behind the gauze curtain.

"You would rob me of everything!" screamed a high-pitched voice from
the doorway of the gauze curtain. "You have what you seek, and you
would leave me with nothing! I know now! You want to become the new
Doc Savage! You killed the real Doc Savage and left his bones to the
rats! I won't be tricked!"



THE curtain of gauze swayed to one side. The figure of Doctor
Anstratton hopped into view. High above his one hunched shoulder, the
crazed scientist held a small glass jar. In the other hand, the doctor
balanced another.

Jane Davidson was standing erect on the sloping top of the air car.
The big bronze figure at her feet had not moved after she had struck
him down.

Jane Davidson screamed shrilly. There was the terror of death in her
voice.

"This is all the work of Doc Savage!" she cried. "Don't let him break
those jars! They contain worse than death! They were filled by
Professor Spargrove!"

"Holy cow!" muttered Renny behind the crackling copper globes. "This
is about the nuttiest set-up I ever encountered! Now what?"

Apparently the two score men commanded by the fake Doc Savage and this
Doctor Anstratton knew what it was all about. Moreover, they appeared
to be in deadly terror of those swinging jars.

"No, doctor! No! You can't do that!" screamed one man.

Another man yelled, "Get the cars moving! Open the wall!"

There was no time to get one of the queer air cars moving. Nor was
there time to open a wall.

Doctor Anstratton chuckled with a fiendish glee, which could be heard
above the hissing of the electrical currents of the big globes.

One bony-knuckled hand hurled one of the glass jars. This jar seemed
to contain only some green stagnant water. The jar struck among some
of the nearest of the mountain men and exploded into scores of
splintery fragments.

The green water splattered over the faces and the hands of three of
these men. Those whose eyes were clear and unaffected by whatever
emanation was coming from the big copper globes saw the three men halt
as if transfixed by lightning.

Then these three men fell down. None writhed or showed any other
evidence of suffering. They simply became instantly only motionless
bundles of clothes and bones and flesh.

"Good grief!" exploded Ham. "Doc! I'll get him!"

Ham started to spring forward. The lawyer was not even armed with his
sword cane. But he flashed toward Doctor Anstratton.

"Keep back, Ham," came the calm voice of Doc Savage. "Every one get to
the first of those cars. It is our only way now out of Cragrock. In a
few seconds there will be no mountain."

"So you think you're another Doc Savage!" screamed Doctor Anstratton.
"But you have spoken the truth! In another few seconds there will be
no Cragrock. The detonator is set! None but myself ever will become
the new Doc Savage!"

Doctor Anstratton broke the other jar. He crashed the top of it on the
rock nearest him. A howl of laughter came from his throat. The
scientist's deformed shoulder twisted upward.

Renny shouted from behind the copper globes. "He's drinking the stuff!
He's--"

Jonas Hydebottom and the other millionaires perhaps had not yet
understood why they were seeing monsters, why they were on the verge
of madness. There had been no time for them to remove metallic glass
shells from under their eyelids.

Because of this, Jonas Hydebottom and the others were viewing much
more than the mere paralysis of three men, and the strange
transformation of Doctor Anstratton.

"Great grief!" yelled Jonas Hydebottom. "They're eating them alive!
There are millions of the things! Look out! They're coming through the
air!"



JONAS HYDEBOTTOM was seeing a myriad of hydra-headed monsters. These
were equipped with dozens of gimletlike projectors. They surrounded
Doctor Anstratton. Their terrible borers seemed to pierce his body.
They emerged through his clothing.

The same thing was happening to the three men lying on the floor.

As if transfixed by all these hideous creatures, Doctor Anstratton sat
down suddenly. His bony knuckles no longer cracked. His hands did not
move. Only his deep eyes stayed alive.

The eyes of the three men on the floor were still alive. But their
bodies were inert.

One of the long streamlined cars suddenly moved. It was that
containing the fake Doc Savage and Jane Davidson. Apparently the plump
girl attempted to leap off. The big man reared to his feet.

One fist knocked the girl down.

"Stay where you are!" the man shouted. "It's too late for the others!
The detonators have been set!"

This strange car was behind the other two. One of the other cars was
that old railroad coach. Over its metallic body it had been
camouflaged as a worn-out carnival car.

The real Doc Savage sprang toward the other bronze man on the moving
air car. As he went, he called out, "All get back of the globes! Seize
that other car! All can escape!"

The mountain men had been terrorized. Robbed of their paralysis ray,
they flung themselves upon Doc Savage. They might as well have got in
the path of a cyclone.

The great fists of Doc Savage were like invisible flying circles. Men
fell all around him.

Monk, Long Tom and Johnny, having been robbed of their weapons, were
using their fists and their hands. The gripping hands of the apelike
Monk were more terrible than the fists of the others.

Doc Savage reached the sloping side of the moving air car on which
rode the other bronze man and Jane Davidson. He was climbing upon it,
when a ghastly laugh croaked from the throat of Doc's double.

The real Doc was tossed a score of feet. The shock which had
accomplished this had come from the metallic alloy of the mystery air
car. Bearing the chief of the scientific monsters, and the plump Jane
Davidson, this air car turned on what seemed a caterpillar track of
its own. It headed directly for the closed wall of granite.

Outside this wall was the abandoned quarry. And there were the old
switch tracks. Doc's men could now see by what means these strange
cars had been moved so mysteriously.

For the inner flanges of beltlike devices were fitted for the standard
tracks of any railroad. The facility with which the cars could be
moved undoubtedly made it possible for them to operate anywhere
between regular trains.

At the approach of a train, the air cars simply crawled off the rails
into concealment.

But at this moment, Doc's companions had no time to study this one of
the several devices by which a fake Doc Savage had expected to appear
before the world.



TOSSED a score of feet from the moving air car, Doc Savage whipped to
his feet. He sprang toward the car containing the big copper globes.
The electrical current between these globes was like the constant play
of a zigzagging lightning bolt.

The special metallic conduits were glowing with the intensity of the
heat being drawn from the sky above Cragrock.

The men of the mountain had put up a stubborn fight, but they appeared
more subdued by fear of their three paralyzed companions than by the
fists of Doc Savage's men. Now they were fleeing toward the air car
which resembled a carnival car.

The vast underground room was a bedlam of screams.

"Get the others on the car of the globes," commanded Doc Savage
quietly. "Renny, destroy the power. It was a mistake in the
beginning."

The hand of Renny, the big engineer, moved toward a switch which had a
three-way brass connection. He pulled this apart.

From somewhere in the top of Cragrock came a rumbling explosion. The
vaulted room shook. Fragments of rock fell down. Another blast quickly
followed. It felt as if the domelike observatory was being blown to
bits far above.

Doc Savage climbed on the car between the big copper globes. Renny's
pulling of the switch had shut off the generators. The bronze giant
made a ruthless job of several delicately wired connections.

"This," he said quietly to Johnny, "concludes the experiment of the
magni globes. With all of its possibilities for great good, we have
seen what terrible evil it might bring."

"I had guessed some of that," stated Johnny. "Are we getting out on
this car?"

"We will help the others aboard here," advised Doc. "Be quick. The
whole mountain may go next."

His words seemed about to be fulfilled. Long Tom had made an effort to
rescue the paralyzed Doctor Anstratton. The electrician halted as a
blast from far above sent a whole wall of soft rock down upon the
inert body of the crazed scientist.

All the mountain men had crowded aboard the air car with the
flamboyant carnival paint. They had the vehicle moving. Its remarkable
motors made only a hissing, as if they were drawing in air.

Jonas Hydebottom and the three millionaires were now beside Doc
Savage. The hands of the bronze giant played over the side of one of
the huge copper balls. The sphere divided. The power of the globes,
whatever it was, had been destroyed.

"The others will escape through the wall," stated Doc Savage. "Get
inside the globe, it is our only chance. We have no time to follow."



Chapter XX. WHEN CRAGROCK FELL

THROUGH a thousand feet of soft rock the big telescope in the Cragrock
observatory plunged into the great, vaulted room. Its long metal body
rested across one of the copper globes aboard a motionless air car.

"We have no time to attempt to follow the others," Doc Savage had
cautioned. "Perhaps the globe will resist the blast."

Doc and his men, Inspector Higgins, Jonas Hydebottom and the other men
of wealth, were crowded into the limited space of the copper globe.
The bronze man had closed the great ball until only a slit remained.

Through that slit appeared an amazing spectacle. The soft quartz walls
inside Cragrock were splitting and falling. Blast after blast of high
explosives shook the mountain. Apparently these had been timed by
Doctor Anstratton or Doc Savage's double to take place in a series
after all had left the place.

"Them devils meant us to be buried here! What was the purpose, Doc?"
came from Renny.

"We are not yet sure we won't be buried here," stated Doc Savage. "We
have only one hope. This explosion may split the whole mountain."

"Howlin' calamities!" exploded Monk. "They must've been startin' off
at better'n a hundred miles an hour! Say! They didn't make it!"

It was very apparent the two fleeing air cars had not made it. Perhaps
the granite wall was supposed to open by some automatic mechanism.
Those two cars had been traveling at great speed.

Possibly the blasting of the mountain had disrupted all of the
intricate mechanism by which the granite wall should have opened.

The big bronze man who had been faking the role of Doc Savage was
aboard the first of the cars. Nearly all his men, except the buried
Doctor Anstratton were on the other cars.

Both cars struck the wall where the opening should have been. Their
impact was almost as great as some of the blasts which had shaken
Cragrock to bits.

"Good gosh!" said Long Tom. "Nobody could be left alive in them cars!
Both of them squashed into that wall like bugs!"

"We are lucky," stated Doc Savage. "Cragrock has been split. That is
real lightning we are seeing."



THE last rumbling blast had died out. Tons of the quartz had hammered
the big copper globe, but those inside were unharmed. Doc slowly
widened the opening. Gusty wind blew rain through the roof where it
had been blown apart.

"Well, I'll be superamalgamated!" exclaimed Johnny. "It looks like
we're going to be blown right out of this place!"

"Daggonit, Doc!" complained Monk. "How are we ever goin' to get these
copper globes an' all this stuff out of this mess?"

"When we have got ourselves out of this mess, that will be
sufficient," said Doc Savage. "Johnny, you said you had guessed what
these globes were intended to do?"

"Yes," stated the scholarly Johnny. "As soon as I realized I had some
kind of metallic shells over my eyeballs and that I saw all sorts of
strange things when the globes were turned on, I had the answer."

"You are correct, Johnny," advised Doc. "Professor Spargrove had been
experimenting with this idea for years. We succeeded in creating what
might be called a supermicroscope. When the cosmic rays and high
voltage of the magni globes were inducted into the special finders,
which were made into metallic shells for the eyes, millions of
microbes were enlarged many thousands of times."

"Yes," stated Johnny, "and this Doctor Anstratton got in on it some
way. He found hitherto invisible bacteria which could be reproduced
and made to paralyze those they touched. With that, he and his
companions could have held the greatest of cities in their power."

"I fear they had even a more subtle scheme in mind," stated Doc. "It
was their purpose first to contaminate the water supply of the
greatest cities, then produce the enemy bacteria which would kill off
the others and cure the victims."

"You mean," said Ham, "they really intended to put over a kind of Doc
Savage stuff of their own, by posing as benefactors."

"It would seem so," stated Doc. "Invention of these air cars would
have made them millions, but they were not satisfied with mere wealth.
These cars are a type of Super-Diesel, which draws nearly all of its
energy from the stratosphere. They are held to steel rails by magnetic
belts rather than by the flanges of wheels."

"By golly," said Long Tom, "that's a principle which may be applied
some day!"

"No doubt and with great benefit," stated Doc. "Their supposed thefts
by trucks were only a cover-up for the real way they were carrying off
the heavy stuff."

"Well! Well! Well!" twanged Inspector Higgins. "What was all this
twaddle which made it look like I had to arrest Doc Savage? That young
woman, Jane Davidson--Holy Moses! I forgot! She was on one of them
smashed cars! Now that's too bad!"

Doc Savage shook his head sadly.

"It is always to be regretted when death comes," he stated. "But
justice sometimes is dealt by the power which has created the
injustice. I fear Jane Davidson was the brain behind all this scheme."

"Holy cow!" rumbled Renny. "She was such a nice black-eyed girl!"



SCHOLARLY Johnny smiled slightly.

"I was aware Jane Davidson was in on this before we came under the
mountain," he stated. "She suddenly became interested in that poor
fellow, Rufus Bannaford. She told me she had taken a photograph of
herself from his body. I happened to see that same photograph of
herself in her purse earlier. Also, I found a fragment of the metallic
eyeshells, which she was removing from the dead man's eyes."

"Great gravy!" piped Monk. "Then who bumped off Professor Spargrove?"

"There appears to be no doubt but that Jane Davidson did that,"
advised Doc. "Probably the professor suddenly suspected who had helped
steal the magni globes. The girl was his assistant. She got dreams of
great power." The bronze man shrugged. "It was too great a temptation
for her to resist."

"Then who was the other Doc Savage?" inquired Long Tom.

"That was what made me sure of Jane Davidson's part in all this,"
stated Doc. "The other Doc Savage was Andrus Davidson, brother of
Jane. He had been an actor--possibly a bad one--for many years. And he
was built for the part. I believe it was the purpose to discredit our
own work before they tried to take up the great scheme of the magni
globes."

It was now recalled by all that each time any person had apparently
"seen things," some of the principals had had an access to them while
they were unconscious. Even in the case of John Corbin, the first to
die, the fake Doc Savage had appeared just long enough to remove the
metallic eyeshells from the dead man's eyes.

"Well! Well! Well!" babbled Inspector Higgins. "I think I done a swell
job breaking this case!"

"No doubt about it," stated Ham dryly. "You'll probably be promoted."

"Daggonit!" came from Monk "why don't you let him alone, you shyster?
You were so scared of what was going on here you didn't do anything.
At least Higgins isn't afraid!"

"I suppose you weren't, you hairy ape?" Ham drawled sarcastically.

"I was!" Monk admitted promptly. "Scared to death, as a matter of
fact." And then the hairy chemist grinned. For once, he had caught Ham
off guard, and the expression on the dapper lawyer's face was
ludicrous. Getting Monk to admit he was scared was an accomplishment
in itself.



THE END




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