Thursday, July 6, 2017

Secret of the Su

I generally prefer the pre-war Doc Savage stories, as the later tales often toned down the super-scientific stuff too much for my tastes. But all the same, there was rarely a Doc story I didn't like at all and the later stories have their gems.

"The Secret of the Su" was in the November 1943 issue of Doc Savage Magazine and it is definitely one of the gems. The story begins in the small town of Logantown, Georgia. The local doctor (named Wilson) has found out a secret about an undiscovered tribe in the Everglades that literally amazes him. His servant, Slow John, is supposedly a Seminole who served Dr. Wilson for years after the doc saved his life. But he's actually a Su. Who are the Su and what is their amazing secret?  Well, it'll take us most of the story to find that out.

But we'll have a lot of fun getting to those answers. Another local doctor--Dr. Light--also finds out about the secret. But Light is actually a German whose attitude is to look after Number One. He isn't himself a Nazi, but he knows how to contact Nazi spies and plans to sell them the secret of the Su.

But first he has to stop Wilson from calling in Doc Savage. So Light hires a local thug named Snuffy Gonner (I love that name) to help kidnap Wilson and tuck him out of the way. But Wilson proves quite resourceful and escapes. He makes it to New York and, worried that he's being followed, contacts Doc's cousin Pat Savage. But he gets recaptured all the same.

By now, there are three sets of bad guys. Dr. Light is trying to trick Slow John into taking him to the Everglades and leading him to the Su. Snuffy Gonner and his men are trying to join him there, though they don't know they are being pursued by Doc Savage and Doc's crew.

Then there's the gang of Nazi spies that Dr. Light contacted, who are dealing themselves in. Of course, all the villains are ready and willing to double-cross each other. Everyone ends up in the Everglades, with Doc joining Light and Slow John by disguising himself as one of Snuffy's thugs, the Nazis capturing Pat and three of Doc's partners, and Snuffy's crew of gunman willing to pretty much shoot everyone.

When the Su finally show up, everything gets really interesting.

This is a fun story, fast-moving and running from one plot twist to the next without pausing for a breath.

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