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The Crawling Death
by Cora Buhlert
Copyright © 2018 by Cora Buhlert
All rights reserved.
Cover image © by Logan Ban via Dreamstime
Cover design by Cora Buhlert
Pegasus Pulp Publications
The Adventures of Two-Fisted Todd
A man with a mysterious past, “two-fisted” Todd Donovan now works as a freelance troubleshooter for whoever is willing to pay for his services, locating missing persons, rescuing hostages, repossessing stolen goods and tangling with drug lords, dictators, criminals and other lowlives all over the globe.
These high octane action stories are an homage to the men’s adventure magazines of the 1960s with their lurid covers and breathless prose. So buckle up, step back in time and enjoy an adventure with “two-fisted” Todd Donovan.
The Crawling Death
“This was supposed to be an easy job.”
Todd Donovan, freelance troubleshooter had been repeating this sentence to himself over and over again these past seven hours. “Think of the money. This was supposed to be an easy job.”
Because it was. Lone Oak University had hired him to locate a biologist, one Dr. Pat Turner, who’d taken a sabbatical during the spring term of 1966 and promptly gone missing in the Latin American nation of San Jacinto, while researching rare specimens of something or other in Latin. The University had even helpfully provided Todd with a map of the exact area where Dr. Turner was supposed to be researching the rare specimens of whatever.
So Todd had flown down to San Jacinto on an ancient DC-4 and rented an equally ancient Jeep to take him to the area where Dr. Turner had been last seen, researching the rare whatevers. Easy, right?
Except that the area where Dr. Turner had been last seen turned out to a largely uncharted jungle with nothing in the way of roads. Todd drove the rickety Jeep as far as he could, then he continued on foot. For seven fucking hours, he hacked his way through a mosquito ridden jungle at approximately ninety-eight degrees Fahrenheit.
Okay, so it wasn’t an easy job. But the money was still pretty damn good.
He’d finally found Dr. Turner’s camp or rather what was left of it exactly where it was supposed to be. Because the camp had clearly been razed, equipment overturned, the radio smashed. And it didn’t look like a random animal attack either. No, this was the work of human hands.
Though Todd barely had the chance to investigate before he found himself staring into the barrel of a gun.
An easy job. Yeah, right.
Slowly, he raised his hands.
The gunman, an ugly guy with a missing front tooth, took Todd’s gun, his machete and his knife, though he missed the back-up blade Todd kept in his boot.
Not that it helped much, for the gunman also bound his hands behind his back. Though at least it was rope and not cuffs. Ropes were easier to break than cuffs.
And then Todd was marched off, deeper into the jungle, most likely to meet the gunman’s boss, for his captor had “hired goon” written all over him.
By now it was pretty obvious to Todd what had happened. While researching the rare specimens of whatever, Dr. Turner had stumbled upon whatever nefarious activities the goon and his bosses were up to and had been promptly captured. And now the same thing had happened to Todd.
Fucking stupid that. He’d allowed to let himself be taken like a rank amateur. Stupid.
On the other hand, it also meant that he didn’t have to search for Dr. Turner anymore, since the goon was taking him right there. Provided Dr. Turner was still alive, that was…
The trek through the jungle lasted the better part of an hour — at least as far as Todd could tell, for his captor had taken his watch, too — until they reached a second camp. This one was considerably larger than the first, better organised and surrounded by a perimeter fence. A helicopter waited on a makeshift pad near the fence. There were several armed men milling about — Todd counted seven altogether. Plus at least twice as many unarmed men who seemed to be workers, harvesting leaves from what looked suspiciously like a plantation of coca plants.
A drug operation then. Well, it had to be either that or rebels plotting a coup. Or illegal mining, but then San Jacinto had nothing worth mining.