Boxed Death – Seven Short Mysteries by C.K.M. Scanlon is a FREE collection of short murder mysteries from Popular Detective magazine from the 1930s.
Blood for Breakfast (1935) – A Gripping Story Of Murder In The Morning
The Shock (1936) – Desperation – to the Point of Murder! Then – The Shock
Filed In Person (1939) – to Complete the Case
Footprints (1935) – A Crime That Was A Weighty Matter
Lincoln Letter (1936) – Si Pendleton’s One Treasure Was the Valuable Lincoln Letter
Half A Grand (1936) – Hands of Greed Reach For the Tainted Half A Grand
Boxed Death (1937) – A Gruesome Killing – and its Startling Aftermath!
C. K. M. Scanlon was a “house name” that Thrilling Publications used on their Dan Fowler stories, and other stories throughout their publications. This pseudonym was used by a number of different authors in the Thrilling Publications group of magazines.
Boxed Death – Seven Short Mysteries contains 7 illustrations.
BILL CAMPTON paused. He listened tensely, peering about him, staring into the shadows of the cellar. He knew that he was on dangerous ground. He had warned Rand Hardy of that fact when Hardy had insisted upon coming here on his own hook twenty-four hours ago.
But Hardy was young and reckless, perhaps a bit too much so for a first-grade detective.
“I’m sure the place is ‘Leather’ Darkin’s hideout,” Hardy had told Campton. “And if I can just get in there and take a look around I might be able to prove it.”
“Why not have the place raided?” Campton demanded. “Darkin is wanted for plenty.”
“It’s too risky. Too many men around might tip him off, let him get away before he’s cornered. And he’s too smart to hang around and fight it out with a bunch of cops,” Hardy had protested. “I’m going around to that place tonight.” He had grinned boyishly at his partner, “If I don’t come back—you come and get me, will you, Bill?”
But that was twenty-four hours ago. Rand Hardy had not come back. And now Campton had come to get him, as he had promised.
He had managed to get into the place through a cellar window. Finding it apparently deserted, he had returned to the cellar.
A single bulb burned feebly. A large packing box caught his gaze as it stood on end against the brick wall near the door. He went closer, gazed at it intently. There was a dark stain on the cement floor beside the box. It was blood!
With a heavy iron claw chisel which he found lying on the floor, he hastily began to pry off the lid of the packing case. The nails squeaked as he forced the boards loose. And then—an expression of horror swept over Campton’s face at the sight of the huddled figure that was revealed. It was Rand Hardy, blood staining the front of his shirt—dead.
He stood there, horror still on his face, cold hatred in his heart. “Get ’em if it’s the last thing I ever do!” he muttered aloud.
“All right, mug,” snarled a voice from the shadows. “Start now!”
A gun roared, and a bullet smashed into the brick wall. Campton returned the fire and then dropped down behind the packing case, poor shelter though it was.
He raised his automatic, aimed carefully at the electric light, squeezed the trigger. The light went out at the crack of the gun. Across the room Campton saw a flash of flame as his foe fired again, and his own weapon sent an answering shot.
“Darkin?” he called in the darkness, certain of the man’s identity. “You haven’t got a chance. The cops will be here any minute now.”
“Sez you!” Darkin laughed sardonically, and sent a bullet plowing in Campton’s direction.
The detective gritted his teeth, pressed trigger again—and again. Then—click! His gun was empty. Now he was at the mercy of the killer.
Campton’s mind raced. His hands worked in a fever of frenzy. He’d have to take a desperate chance. It was better than being shot down without a fight.
“Darkin—I give up,” he called. “My gun’s empty. Give me a break, will you?”
“I’ll give you a break,” grated Darkin. “Throw your gun this way.”
The detective did so.
“Stay there while I get a new bulb in,” Darkin ordered. Campton heard the other fumbling around and then the light came on again. The thin, dark-haired gangster came closer. Passively Campton let the man search him for other weapons. The detective’s pockets produced none.
“Why did you nail Hardy up in a box?”
Campton wanted to know.
The gangster grinned wolfishly. “Two reasons. First, the body would not be so easy to find if somebody came snoopin’ around here like you did. Second, I thought I might send it back to Headquarters as a little present for you smart cops. Now I’ll send you both back!”
He lifted his gun, his eyes gleaming with the killer’s lust. Campton steeled himself, suddenly stiffened, and gasped at sight of the corpse.
Darkin’s glance followed his horrified gaze, and his jaw dropped. His body became rigid with horror as his whole attention was irresistibly drawn toward an amazing sight.
The body was moving. It seemed as if the dead man was coming back to life!
Excerpt From: C.K.M. Scanlon. “Boxed Death and Other Stories.”
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